ARLINGTON, Va. — It took four months (I don’t take many lunches) but I finally made it to the newest Ben’s Chili Bowl location at 1725 Wilson Blvd. It’s between the Courthouse and Rosslyn Metro stations. I’d say it’s a 10 minute walk from Courthouse.
I had another customer in front of me, but the wait to order or recieve my order was probably just a little over five minutes. I got my usual, a half-smoke with mustard, onions and chili, plus fries and a Pepsi. It tasted like more or perhaps MOOOAARRRR!
The interior is pleasant and reminiscent of the original location, without being kitschy. One of the walls is a big celebration and timeline of Ben’s. Overall, it’s a pleasant design. They have a big screen on the opposite wall; it was playing a “Nats Classic” when I arrived, probably Stephen Strasburg’s second start (though it was the 9th inning, Tyler Clippard relieved Miguel Batista). Since it was nice day and the patio tables were still in shade, I enjoyed dining al fresco.
Today, Ben’s continues to expand with another Arlington location:
The new location is in the public area of the airport, lower level B/C – no TSA lines necessary. It’s an appropriate addition to one of the gateways to the city. Later this year, the long-planned H Street NE location will open along with Ben’s Next Door.
After I initially became aware of the closure of the 29 Diner (nee 29 Tastee Diner, my photo above is circa 1995), I CC’ed a couple of loval Post columnists about the demise. Both indicated that 29 Diner would return.
The Post still hasn’t reported anything, but yesterday I found that Northern Virginia Magazine has details:
New owner and Fairfax native, John Wood hopes to reopen the doors of this iconic establishment in late July. “We just signed the lease,” says Wood. “As soon as we get all of our marching orders from the Virginia Board of Historical Resources we will reopen. It is going to be the same classic diner that it has been for the last 67 years.”
From Iconic 29 Diner in Fairfax Plans to Reopen in Late July Under New Ownership
UPDATED 6.19.2014: John Kelly has a column in today’s Post – Fairfax City’s 29 Diner is getting a makeover; fans of late night eggs and grits rejoice
As a much-needed renovation progresses over the summer, the diner’s parking lot will host events, including food truck visits and car shows. They hope the diner itself will reopen by Labor Day.
And when it reopens? There will be diner food, yes, John and Billy said, but also artisanal food served by a rotating cast of acclaimed chefs. There’s likely to be a barbecue component, too. Ambitious.
John said the plan is to work with groups that help veterans and the homeless. He said the Lord inspires him to give back.
There were several comments on Facebook about the closing of the diner. I’ll admit to some nostalgia and will probably take a visit there sometime now. My wife’s never been and I think my six year old may enjoy it too. Adding barbecue makes me want to go back more. And artisanal food, why not? Though I’d just be happy if it’s less greasy than before.
By the way, Wikipedia mentions that the diner has been featured in a few Zippy the Pinhead comic strips over the years, including this one from 2003.
ARLINGTON, Va. — The second permanent Ben’s Chili Bowl location opens on Thursday, March 6, 2014 in the Rosslyn neighborhood of Arlington, Va. about six months after the initial announcement was made. Bill Cosby will be a part of the festivities according to ARLnow.com.
Located at 1725 Wilson Boulevard it’s closer to the Rosslyn Metro, but Court House doesn’t have such a steep walk (or escalators). This location is the first of three new locations that will open soon and hey, that’s walking distance from where I work! The others are going to be at 1001 H Street and National Airport. There are also Ben’s stands at Nationals Park and FedEx Field.
Ben’s has been around since 1958 with the Nationals Park location opening with the stadium in 2008. FedEx Field’s Ben’s opened in 2011. We’re still waiting on Verizon Center, though that’s only a couple of stops down the Green Line from U Street.
ASHBURN, Va. — Last year I mentioned that I discovered the old Partlow Bros. at the intersection of Ashburn and Hay roads and the W&OD trail had turned into a barbecue place. I was really excited that Carolina Brothers, as it is now known, sold glass bottled soda like Pepsi (with sugar, not corn syrup), Cheerwine, Big Red as well as RC and of course, Mexi-Coke. Having just had brunch, we didn’t order any food, but I also bought bottles of their barbecue sauces — The standard “eastern” sauce which is really just vinegar and pepper and the more “western” Lexington-style which is that, plus tomato paste, mustard, sugar, etc. I tried those on my own pulled pork (just a shoulder from the crock pot) and found the eastern to decent, but not the best of that style,while the western was outstanding.
Last weekend, after some apple-picking in Purcellville (Crooked Run Farm, which we have gone to several times now) we detoured a little to Ashburnfor stocking up on sodas, but also getting some lunch. We have done this a couple of times now, but I am only now getting around to blogging about it. I got a pulled pork sandwich and added the western sauce. It was some of the finest pulled pork I have ever had. The pork was juicy, just a little bit smoky and bursting with rich pork flavor. By itself it was excellent, with the sauce it was fantastic. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. It tasted like more.
On a previous visit, my brother got the beef brisket and I had a bite and it was tasty, but not worth getting instead of the pulled pork.
If you find yourself in Loudoun County, it’s worth the detour from either Route 7 or the Dulles Greeway. Trust me.
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