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Posted at 4:24 PM ET, 10/ 8/2009

Long Live the Chili Dog

By The Food Section

We'll miss you, Ben Ali. The man who 51 years ago put chili on a hot dog gave Washington a food identify that stuck. As we've heard today, the founder of Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street died last night of congestive heart failure at his home in Washington. He was 82. Read about it here, see this photo gallery of scenes inside his famous restaurant or watch the video:

We're not looking to discuss the nutritional demerits of half-smokes and cheese fries, just good times and late-night food and Ali's culinary legacy, if you will. Selling them at the Nationals' ballpark seemed like a shrewd move, didn't it? Tom Sietsema wrote about Ben's in 2004, when it was recognized by the prestigious James Beard Foundation as one of four restaurants designated that year as America's Classics for its timeless appeal.

Share your memories here.

-- Bonnie Benwick

By The Food Section  | October 8, 2009; 4:24 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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