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50 Years of Chili Bowl

By Matthew Yglesias  

"50 Years of Chili Bowl"

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Half-Smoke

The really important news of the day, it should be said, has nothing to do with Georgia or Iraq or John McCain’s houses — it’s the fiftieth anniversary of Ben’s Chili Bown, Washington DC landmark and the cornerstone of the U Street corridor. It’s home of the famous chili half-smoke pictured above. Of course any talk of the Ben’s chili half-smoke naturally leads people to ask “what’s a half-smoke?” The simple answer is that it’s a kind of sausage, a regional delicacy of the area. But what kind of sausage is it? That turns out to be a harder question, and one that resulted in one of the finest pieces of journalism I’ve read during my career — Dave Jamieson’s “The Missing Link”

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