Ben’s Chili Bowl

Last week I saw The Milk Carton Kids, The Lumineers, and Old Crow Medicine Show perform at the 9:30 Club. I hadn’t heard of The Milk Carton Kids and was only vaguely familiar with the Lumineers, but I loved both openers a lot.  In addition to playing beautiful music, The Milk Carton Kids were really funny. Check them out, their music is free on their website right now. I really loved The Lumineers. I knew I was going to like them as soon as I saw that there was a woman in the band (the cellist & some vocals). Beyond that, The Lumineers were very upbeat and energetic. Right now they would be known for “Ho Hey,” but I think all of their stuff is great. Of course, Old Crow Medicine Show was great. The best part of my night was singing along with “Wagon Wheel” as loudly as I could.

Enough about the show. The real point of this post is that every time friends and I go to 9:30 Club for a show, we stop at Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street (which I have listed on Lori’s Guide to Food an Drink in DC). This time, I got chili cheese fries.

And Kendall got a chili cheeseburger.

Ben’s Chili Bowl never disappoints. I think that their most popular item is actually the chili half-smoke, which is a hot sausage topped with chili. I can’t eat the chili half-smoke AND chili cheese fries, so I always have to choose (or share). I could have gone ahead and eaten both, but that probably would have been a pretty uncomfortable concert.

In addition to the great food, it’s fun to peruse the photos of all of the famous people who have eaten at Ben’s Chili Bowl. A DC staple since 1958, many famous people have eaten there, including Nat King Cole, Martin Luther King, Jr., Bono, and President Obama.

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My NHL Adventure

I went to my first NHL game on Friday night. I was feeling really under the weather, but Washington Capitals tickets are hard to come by and I didn’t want to lose my chance to see my first (and maybe only) NHL game. I had no idea what to expect from the game. I’ve never watched a full hockey game on TV and had heard plenty of jokes to the effect of, “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.” Despite feeling sick, I had a wonderful time. Hockey is fast-paced and moves a LOT faster than baseball and has fewer time-outs than football.

My favorite part about hockey is the penalty box. I like that the player that commits the penalty is the player who is punished. I realize that in a way, this punishes the whole team because they’re down a player. Nonetheless, I like it. And I kinda wish that we had penalty boxes in more aspects of life. A friend pointed out that we could “social flag” a person and stick them in the penalty box for a social time-out when they are acting like a tool. I think I could get behind this policy.

A Capitals player going into the penalty box

Besides, you do get to leave the box when the penalty ends!

A Capitalss player exiting the penalty box, trying to steal the puck on his way out

Another favorite aspect of the game was Mites on Ice. It’s an initiative by the Washington Capitals that allows amateur hockey players (little kids!) to play hockey at intermission in front of the Capitals fans. They’re really adorable and it was adorable that both teams of Mites chased after the puck in a herd of little kid adorableness.

In sum, the Capitals game was a lot of fun and I had a great experience despite my limited knowledge of hockey.