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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/ 7/2010

Ben's Chili Bowl remembers Ben Ali

By Washington Post editors

The family of Ben Ali, whose restaurant Ben's Chili Bowl has become a Washington institution, is remembering their father on the one year anniversary of his death. Patrons who stop by the U Street eatery today will receive a free memorial button, bearing Ali's image.

Ali, who died of congestive heart failure, opened the restaurant on U Street NW. in 1958. He was the mastermind behind the chili recipe that along with the half-smoke, made the diner famous. To this day, the recipe remains a closely-held family secret.

"His family-run diner on U Street NW. has been one of the most enduring institutions of Washington, a place where families meet after church and where night owls come to talk, flirt and, not least, eat," wrote The Post's Matt Schudel in Ali's obituary. "The landmark eatery opened when U Street was the city's glittering "Black Broadway," a strip of nightclubs and theaters that catered to Washington's black middle class and helped define the city's pulse and taste. It became a steadfast symbol of Washington's perseverance through good times and bad, feeding the dignitaries who came to Washington as well as the ordinary folks who call the District home.''

Hundreds of people attended Ali's memorial service.

See a video tribute to Ben Ali on Ben's Big Blog.

By Washington Post editors  | October 7, 2010; 11:30 AM ET
 
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Comments

I remember when you couldn't even walked down U St while the Green Line was being constructed and how Ben's had maybe 10 people inside. Now, to see lines around to the alley is awesome. I just hope the Ali's give back to the community that stuck with them during the riots and the green line construction.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | October 7, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

The Chili tastes like crap. The hot dogs are over priced, and the half smokes are now made with some kind of strange meat.

No wonder Ben Ali died of heart failure.

Posted by: Special_One40 | October 7, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE BENS.

Posted by: eightball46 | October 7, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Ben's is a greasy, filthy pit. I cannot understand the amount of media attention this place continues to receive. You would think it was some 4 star eatery. IT'S A DIRTY DUMP.

Posted by: B-rod | October 7, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The Chili tastes like crap. The hot dogs are over priced, and the half smokes are now made with some kind of strange meat.

No wonder Ben Ali died of heart failure.

Posted by: Special_One40 |


You really dont have a life do you? Someone give this guy some attention. So he does not have to pick on dead people on a blog to get noticed. Lets meet for happyhour, Im buying. You need a life.

Posted by: ged0386 | October 7, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I agree the chili taste nothing like it did before Mr. Ali stopped working there. The people that are standing in line have no idea what they missed from the good ole days.

Posted by: diane2williams | October 7, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I really enjoyed the memorial video for Ben Ali. May his family know how much we enjoy your restaurant and wish you much love and prayers during this past year of loss.

For those that leave mean spirited comments, this article is about a man who brought his touch to DC. In honoring his memory and work, please leave your negative thoughts out of this comment section. They are not wanted or appreciated.

Best of everything to the Ali family.

Posted by: Ross65 | October 7, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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