Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's Chili, Ben's that is ...

So, I'm slightly back in blog biz :-) ... We had a security issue and hopefully that's good enough to explain my absence, I just didn't want to disappear without an explanation, but then again it is hard to say what happened and maintain some privacy. Wack right? Things aren't better since the event, but I have time to get back to some fun stuff here and there so I thought I'd give ya an update. A week ago, we packed up and went to Washington D.C. in need of some rest and relaxation. Before we went, I got recommendations about where to eat and 2 people I respected told me I must do Ben's Chili Bowl. Well, well, well ... after eating there twice in two days, I can surely say I'd take a flight or train to D.C. not only for the food, but the atmosphere. Take a look ...


This is just a feel for the decor ... super diner-like with a back room for larger groups. Why wait in line when you can dine at the counter with no delay? So we did ... here is my half of the damage ...

That's a Half-Smoke as recommended by my bloggin' buddy The Food Network Addict and D.C. area dweller, Jacob. Then to go with it, of course the chili cheese fries. It was all so good and then the next day we went back and were treated to just the most lively set of cooks dancing in the kitchen I've ever seen. The music was blaring Gap Band and all kinds of music from that era ... and almost every single one of the line cooks and servers was singing the words and dancing ... we didn't want to leave. It just made us happy to be there and see people just happy without apology. We kept waiting for the next song, like a nightclub. It was a beautiful Sunday and boy will we repeat it probably every visit to D.C. from now on. We left full, smiling and singing.
Here's one of the dancing guys and another shot of the menu in the background.

I was really trying to get a shot of the sign on the drink machine thingy, it read something like "People that eat here for free: Bill Cosby and the Obama's". Very cute and it also left me smiling.

Today, I got up early and pre-taped a segment for Good Morning America. Here's me and Chris Cuomo.


As usual before snapping away and looking crazy ... I told him it was for the blog and he said "sure". As I've said before I really like his ability to make you smile and handle tough stories as well. Being on GMA is pretty neat because they are the ones I watch regularly in the morning. Sure, I look around, but they are my home. How surreal to be asked to participate in segments and stuff. I have more pics and will either post later this week or the week the show airs ... btw it airs New Year's Day, which is why we pre-taped. Who wants to get up that early on New Year's day? I did and didn't mind when they asked me to come on for the occasion, it's GMA for goodness sakes! Then, a few weeks later I found out that they would pre-tape to save all the other anchors the early wake-up as well. Hope you are enjoying the week.

18 comments:

Mrs. L said...

Well, I'm glad to hear that you are well. Continue to stay safe :)

And this chili place is definitely on my list should I make it to that area!

Sunny Anderson said...

mrs. l, thanks we are just happy to be alive and well. ben's chili bowl sure did cure the stress though, it truly is a must try. i forgot to mention the chili for the dogs has no beans, but the chili you get in the bowl does ... both yummy. i prefer no beans!

jacob said...

Glad you made it to Ben's. It looks good, but for me it's gotta be 3am, and after a few drinks to really enjoy it;-) Hope things are getting better and glad you made it back to GMA, you star!

Sunny Anderson said...

jacob, teeheehee don't i wish i had a place like that in my partying days!? i used to go to the holland tunnel diner in nj for that, but they didn't have the half smoke! :-)

nicola! said...

Sunny!!! I LOOOOVE your show! You totally bring that much needed soulful flair to the Food Network =D

Ben's Chili Bowl is THE BEST! I'm from Cali, but the last time I visited my best friend in D.C. she took me there and I've been dreaming of it ever since =) Good choice!

Sunny Anderson said...

nicola, thanks so much! i really appreciate your viewership and support! ben's is soooo good, i really know i'll be back within a few months time, it was such an uplifting experience. sounds corny, but the chili was good and everyone was happy and smiling, just felt good being there. they really have something going there.

ken said...

hi, sunny...☼

i had to respond to this blog....

sorry to hear about your situation...glad to hear all is well....you just say the word...me and the hold city of detroit....wil come thru...we got you...

koney with me....sunny...ken aka so jealous with
envy....

gma...one step closer to oprah....happy sunday aka church day...

Lys said...

Security issue? Oh dang. I'm sorry to hear things aren't better yet, but sending positive thougths your way to get ya on a more even keel.

GMA - you go Sunny!

t2ed said...

You have really made me want a coney from a Greek place in Detroit.

Dang, I'm hungry.

Glad you're now secure. Wouldn't want all those double top secret Food Network recipes out there unprotected.

Sunny Anderson said...

ken, thanks for the concern. detroit is always there for me :-)

lys, yup, i will explain surely in a couple of months when the dust settles. thanks!

t2ed, OKAY!?!!! it was just like detroit coney chili, with the exception of the beans that were in the bowl chili. really some good stuff. hope it's not too graphic, but i told a friend my bf payed for dinner that night, but i payed for it the next day :-). ick i know, but it was some good chili!

ana said...

Dear Sunny: First of all I love your show. I love the refrigerator you have on your show. Can you tell me about the refrigerator, brand, where one can purchase one like it. I thank you in advance for any info

thank you

Ana

Sunny Anderson said...

ana, it's a sub zero ... i don't know the model, but i can say that the light being on while the door is closed is alllllll us and not sub zero :-) we rigged it. we installed our own lights because turning on the lights via a macgyver rig on the existing light would alert the sub zero brain and wrongly tell it the door was open, so we inserted our own and put a film up. we really wanted the food back lit to make it pretty. would u like me to take close ups of the rigging and post here when i go back to tape? and thanks for watching!!!

Crown Royal on Ryce said...

Dude...you were in DC...on U Street? Mmmm Ben's...and, yes, it tastes 100x better after a "few" *cough" drinks :)

Sunny Anderson said...

crown royal on ryce, heck yeah i was on U street! what? i can't go ova thurrr? teeheehee, we actually walked there from almost union station one day ... had the time and needed the exercise!

Anonymous said...

Peace Sunny,

As a resident Washington DC foodie, I definitely have you next time you swing through.

Ben's has a pretty solid half-smoke. I recommend their vegetarian chili, although about once a month.

Ben's has had a pretty crazy transformation though, only a few years ago, before gentrification took place, I remember you could purchase your food for half of the price you pay now and you didn't have to hang around yuppies when you stood in line.

Le sigh, the days..

Nonetheless, if you're in the area I recommend:

Sushi Taro on 17th and P in Dupont Circle (they're actually closed until March for renovations though). Best sushi I've ever had from any city, hands down.

El Rincon (1826 Columbia Rd NW) at the top of Adams Morgan. They have the best sangria I've ever tasted. Plus, their food is as authentic as it gets.

..and for brunch, always the Beacon Bar & Grill along Rhode Island Avenue. Plus, unlimited mimosas and bloody mary's.

Sunny Anderson said...

anon, thanks so much for the food finds! i actually have another tripped planned already, so i'll put those on my list!

Crown Royal on Ryce said...

You're silly. You're always welcome in the DMV!
I actually took my dad there for the first time a few months ago. Something about chili dogs screams "man food"!
You walked from Union Station...I may need to get on your work out plan...haha!
~Ryce

Sunny Anderson said...

crown royal on ryce, oh word? you talkin' slang to me? "dmv"?? i know what that izzzzz :-), dc, maryland and virginia. saw it on a hip hop site last year, when did that start? i like it. people were saying a radio host started it. and yes, we walked and took a pic at the intersection of ny and nj aves cuz my dude reps nj and i, nyc ... then kept it movin all the way to ben's! we like to walk and really i'm a runner, but my knees are giving out under this weight and age teeheehee, but for real.