musings…over *cool* random ish

RIP Ben Ali, Founder of Ben’s Chili Bowl

Posted in Eats, News by msdisdain on October 8, 2009

Leave news to be a trending topic on Twitter, but upon finding out that Ben Ali, founder of Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC, passed away of natural causes today at age 82, I just had to ask for a moment of silence and perhaps an ode to the half smoke.

Thank you for making Ben’s Chili Bowls one of the best places I have ever eaten. The food is epic (the half smoke = win), the hip hop is always thick, and the guys behind the line are some of the chillest illest and kindest folk around. RIP Ben Ali!

This does not, however, mean I will discontinue eating there. Food’s dank son!

View for a personal statement from the family.

Below, news as reported by AP:
Ben Ali, founder of DC’s Ben’s Chili Bowl, dies

On the Net:

* Ben’s Chili Bowl:

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Hot Noodles?

Posted in Eats, LOL by msdisdain on October 6, 2009

This may have solved all of my miserable problems.

A little belated on this post, apologies.

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Sunday Brunch At Perry’s

Posted in Eats by msdisdain on August 15, 2008

Alright, I’ll be honest, the Saturday before had been a ruckus one, and I walked into Perry’s in Adam’s Morgan looking forward to mad eats, and an egg-loving-pancaking-coffee-and-toast-grubbing kind of Sunday.  I also walked into a line that went down the stairs and almost out the door.  Curious.  Food must be good.  To my luck and moreso thanks to some excellent strategic coordination, our friends were already in line, waiting and sipping on (1) iced coffee and (2) a green tea frappucino.

Aside:  Everyone here dolls up and gets pretty for Sunday brunch.  I had heard a lot of acclaim for Perry’s as it does have in addition to some decent grub and drink, a certain attractive, semi-loungy atmosphere to it.

We joined them further up the line and I peeked over the bannister to a full house of eaters, couples, friends, parties and a buffet.  You could hear the chatter of a million different stories, the clinking of coffee cups and the chiming of silverware against the porcelain white of hot restaurant plates.  A few minutes into standing in the queue and suddenly I hear disco karaoke music blaring from a decent in-house system, and a half-naked drag queen dawning a beautiful sequenced risque cabaret outfit comes rolling through the back entrance and into the crowded dinning area singing, I dont remember, but something along the lines of ‘Dancing Queen.’  Laughing and cheering in between chews, the eaters had soaked it all in and clapped with gusto after her performance.  Great, awesome, I say with a little bit of What the hell is this anyway? under my breath.  Oh, cool!  But the show’s probably over.  We laugh and look at eachother and then promptly escorted to our tables where we were encouraged not to take too long having fun at this meal.

For starters, the grub:

The coffee is delish but go for a pitcher of Mimosas while you’re there.  A perfect buzz to an ensuing clownshow of clap-happy eaters and the OJ tasted especially fresh.  The buffet was a combination of tastes with an assortment of green salads, pasta salads, bean salads and fruit salads, eggs, ham,bacon, sausage and hash browns for the breakfast diggers, five-cheesy mac n cheese for the folks eating for comfort and a nice vegetarian lasagna for the light lunch lovers with a partial sushi bar, a bit of a desert bar and really good toast.

Half way through our meal and two deep:

Queue disco music and out comes another woman in drag, this time dressed in a pink sparkly bikini type costume.  Taking dollars for a split second grope and wink, this is what you get when the ladies of the date throw a dollar down for their homeboys:

The Boys and Her

The Boys and Her

That should be enough of a hint, because I wont spoil the rest.  The troupe is a group of five that do various performances including Drag Bingo on Tuesday nights.  I need to do the research on where and when.  Recently the drag show brunch was featured on the Travel Channel’s ‘Samantha Brown’ which aired last Thursday night.  There were a few bachelorette parties and many double and triple dates that were at the brunch.  It’s a great way to kick it not so kosher wth your friends…

Perry’s is known for its decent grub but moreso for its Happy Hour on the 3rd flr. terrace.

Here’s the info in case you want in on the brunch madness:


1811 Columbia Road NW

Washington, DC 20009


Happy Hour Every Day 1730-1930

$4 Cocktails / $5 small sushi plates = nomnomnom

Disneyland Groceries

Posted in Eats by msdisdain on July 16, 2008

The days are longer on the east coast, and they go by far too quickly.

I drove past the national headquarters of the NRA today on my way to a grocery store that i can only describe as being ‘disneyland for hungry adults’.

Looks like an adult funhouse

Looks like an adult funhouse

Fully decked out with a castle and obscenely large parking lot, Wegman’s in Fairfax, VA makes shopping “kid-fun” again, and it’s not just for the haut-couture. The bottom floor is reserved entirely for the wine shoppe.

Wegmans entire 1st flr is a wine shoppe

Wegman's entire bottom flr is a wine shoppe

The first floor, which is the size equivalent of your neighboorhood costco is a split. The first half serves an a la carte restaurant: sub sandwhiches, pizza, pasta salads, lasagna, ribs and pretty much absolutely anything your stomach can think of, outfitted with restaurant-quality tables and chairs stretching to a third indoor veranda (the castle, really) which overlooks the entire grocery store: rows and rows of spotlights onto colors and greens and vegetables and isles, an organized grid with the quiet tinkering of people with wagons on individual missions.

Funhouse Du Jour!

Fun Food House Du Jour!

More Food FunHouse Du Jour

More Food FunHouse Du Jour

The produce department was fun, especially when it rained all over everything. We made a game of splitting up and grabbing individual produce items, like the gala apples, measuring them out on the scale, punching in the code on the computer and taking the sticker and putting it barcode-up on the bag. Now I know this isn’t a new concept, but making shopping for produce fun like that makes me, well, want to buy more produce! The scale and computers are like little beacons in an bright, colorful and even organic vegetable garden that screams “not only are you going to have fun eating me, but you’ll dig the buy-me process too! Check it out! Push all these BUTTONS!!!”



Grocery shopping was so fun, we joined the Wegman Shopper’s Club and might even come on a lunch date here someday. Then do more grocery shopping. At the crux of it all was this: What made it nice wasn’t just the price or the lush sea of food delicately placed and elegantly presented for the glutton in you. Because Wegman’s is located well outside of the city, everyone was civil and maybe even almost-friendly.

I neglected to mention the choo-choo train that went around in circles on a track suspended 15 ft in the air, directly above you so that when you buy that gallon of milk, a toy train comes blaring around and you stop not only to notice that there is a choochoo train blaring up above you, but that all the other adults around you have stopped to watch it too. :]