Monday, May 24, 2010

Chili Chili Bang Bang

I got to D.C. this morning via Amtrak and made my first stop!
Ben's Chili Bowl!! I fell in love with Ben's a couple of years ago and even blogged about it. Every time I hit the nation's capital, I get myself a chili fix. (except when I was here for the 2009 presidential inauguration, the city was too crazy!). That's a "Halfsmoke" with everything. You can't see the onions, but they are under there. It only took me a few minutes to turn a full basket to a half empty one ...
I felt so good about ordering water to drink with my chili dog and not eating the side of chips that I did what I do best ... foodie sabotage! I then ordered chili cheese fries ...
But didn't finish them ...
My eyes are always bigger than my stomach. Plus, halfway through eating them, a Michael Jackson set started playing on the sound system and if you've ever been to Ben's you know they love to sing and perform behind the counter while making your plate. So, I got distracted and entertained by the happy staff. I really like eating there not only for the food, but boy are the employees a huge draw! If you ever go, skip the line and sit at the counter for immediate service. I always get mistaken for a local when I do that, and I love it!

So now, I'm back at my hotel room about to succumb to a lil post-meal nap. When I buried the lead about going to D.C. in my last post, I forgot to say the "when". Well, it's tomorrow! I meet the Vice President and get to serve military veterans for a pre-Memorial Day cook out. I brought my camera and have a flip cam on the way so I can capture some video for the Food Network website. Hopefully, security will let me tape and take pictures for the blog. This trip was organized by the magazine so they'll have an official photog there to get photos for the magazine. I'll let you know what issue if you are interested. They'll print my menu along with other stuff from the day. As I told you last week, the organizers suggest I wear jeans and a nice top to the cook out tomorrow, but I feel like jeans are too informal to meet our VP and the Second Lady. I also feel like if I wear a sun dress like some of you suggested in comments, that I may be over dressed and I don't want to show up in a dress if Mrs. Biden is rockin' jeans, you know? Like you aren't supposed to out dress the hostess. So, I'm stuck. Take a look at what I packed ...
That's a long summer dress on the left, then 2 shorter ones. Then a color block top I'd pair with jeans and few other tops for options. I really think the color block top is at the front of the list to wear with jeans. I also packed an apron (far right) for kitchen prep time with the Navy chefs and it actually matches the color block top, so that's a plus. The long dress on the left was at the front of the stack, but it feels a bit too dressy. The dress next to it is nice, but I feel a bit mature when I put it on. It's really pretty though and the one next to it is the same shape, but a lighter, younger feeling pattern. I have heels and flats and belts for all the options, but think I'll just wear flats. If this is boring you, welcome to my world. Because I must admit, after years and years in radio, where I'd roll out of bed and put on a t-shirt and jeans ... this visual part of media I'm in now is a trip! I really love to cook and eat, if I have to dress nicely to do it .. so be it!! If you can imagine, being in the military was great for me because I knew everyday what I was wearing the next day. I love a uniform job! If you wear a uniform to work ... lucky you!! One less thing to worry about!

9 comments:

Daphne Kay said...

this is too funny...when i'm having trouble deciding what to wear for an occasion i take pics with my iphone and text them to my sister for voting...i can't say for sure which i would go with but i really like the third dress from the left..white with bright colored print and you could make it more casual with flats and the right accessories...
otherwise i would say the color block top with jeans. i like that you have a matching apron! either way i'm sure you will look great and have an awesome time. enjoy!

Eric said...

LOL it never fails, whenever I look at your pictures of food on your blog I always get hungry! :)

But as for wardrobe, youre right about not wanting to outdress the hostess. Its better to be safe than sorry.. if they suggest jeans just go for a nice top and jeans dont ya think?

Sunny Anderson said...

daphne kay, i did the exact same thing this wknd, i took pics of everything and sent them to my bff. she likes the long one. funny thing is, i like the one you like too! i was just worried about it being a bit too young a fun. trying to balance myself with the sincerity of the event. now, i'm back to the dress you like. see, all we need is a co-sign and we are ok right? i'll sleep on it and figure it out, but can you tell how stressed i am? lol and not about the food. that's the easy part.

eric, maaaaaan. lemme tell you, i take pictures for slightly selfish reasons, sure i want to share them, but the same way you get hungry when you see it, i can almost taste it when i see it. so the pics help the meal last forever. ok, good to get an opinion from a guy. my dude helped a bit this weekend. he has an eye for fashion, not me. i like bags and shoes, but clothes ... i could care less. i think because i stain everything lol.

thanks for the late in the day responses guys! feels like i'm tweeting and getting instant info!

Kase said...

Sunny,

I am so happy for you that you get to meet and cook for the 2nd family and military families. I definitely want to give a sincere shout out and thank you to you and all the military service personnel that have served and are currently serving. Your sacrifice and dedication hasn't gone unnoticed. I pray our service men and woman make it home safely. My eyes got all watery while I wrote that. I have to agree with Eric, try not to over analyze your outfit too much..girl I know how hard it is. But jeans and nice top sounds fine. If you had a jean skirt, that would go great as well with a nice top, definitly no danger of outdressing your hostess. But if you wanted to bring a sundress with you just in case people are dressed a little more formal than jeans, I see no harm in that. But you will be great no matter what, so don't worry. Enjoy yourself.

Jen said...

Good luck today, Sunny! I hope you have a great time. It sounds like such an amazing experience! I can't wait to see pics and hear how it goes. And I agree - go for the jeans and a nice top! That will be more comfortable than a dress!

And yes, the AC F&W Fest is going to be so much fun! I changed my profile picture to a pic of me so you won't look for a black cat at your party!! :) Can't wait to hear the menu!

Lindsey Christensen said...

All the thought you’re putting into your wardrobe shows how important and near and dear to your heart this event is to you! I hear ya on not wanting to outdress the hostess, aka Mrs. VP herself! Pairing one of those sundresses with some flats will keep it casual yet stylish. And I always think dresses are way more comfy than jeans any day! Especially in the summer heat. All your options look cute though, so I know you will look great no matter which look you end up with!

Ben’s in DC sounds fantastic. Rocking out to MJ?!? I would have been in 7th heaven! LOOOVE me some King of Pop… and the chili dogs…YUM~! What a fun atmosphere. Next time I’m in DC I’ll have to track it down (as a Midwest girl, my next trip out there may not be for a while, lol).

Anyway Sunny, I know you’ll hit it out of the park this weekend. Enjoy it!!!

Toby said...

Hey Sunny...really enjoyed seeing you again in Jacksonville's best cooking school...PUBLIX! I introduced myself to you and you remembered that my friend and I had a nice chat at Chelsea Market. We will be back in NYC June 7 - 11 and hope you will be there too. Maybe we can meet again! Please let me know. Enjoyed your culinary tour through Washington.

Mai said...

Hey Sunny! I was just @ Ben's on Saturday. I had to get a half smoke mmmm good! Congrats on the VP BBQ! I know you'll look great.

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

Well, I vote for the pink and brown flowered one personally! But you always look cute. And I betcha $1 that Mrs. B has on a dress.

I had to click on the hot dog. My mouth is totally watering right now LOL!