Special Edition: Labor Day

It’s Labor Day. This means that on Monday we don’t go to work. Let’s be honest, nobody else knows anything more about Labor Day except for your 10th Grade History teacher. Not even your 4th Grade History teacher knows why we have it (sorry, Mrs. Howard). Anyways, without work, what do we, as Americans, do? That’s right! We act as American as possible. What is being as American as possible, oh NY Weenie man? Here are some words to describe what every person should be doing on a Monday get-out-of-work-for-free-American-holiday: outside, sun, beer, family, sports, anthems, red, white, blue, hot dogs, chili, baseball, Washington DC, Nationals game.  So, I spent my Labor Day watching cricket over some tea. NAY! I went to the Nats game, in DC, with my folks, and ate one of the most famous hot dogs of all time from Ben’s Chili Bowl. God Bless America.


Usually I first write about the place, the experience, etc. This time I want to get right on in to the part about the hot dog. Ben’s Chili Bowl was visited by Obama in 2009. Bill Cosby, although he may not be so popular anymore, has been known to frequent Ben’s, and has outwardly stated that it is his favorite place to eat. Ben’s has a rep, and is one of those places you’ll see on the travel channel one day. It has become so popular that it has a location inside Nationals Park. While obviously I’d rather visit the original, it’s pretty far away and I had a train to catch. Plus, it’s pretty awesome eating a hot dog at a baseball field. Plus, I didn’t want my family to risk running into Bill Cosby…


I got the half-smoke. What is a half-smoke? It’s a big ass hot dog blended with a little pork sausage, essentially. There is definitely some different flavor to it, but it isn’t enough to take it out of the hot dog category for me. This bad boy is plump. Covered in chili, mustard, and onions, it is a mouthful and a hot mess. The first bite was super juicy, spicy, and delicious. There was chili everywhere. I looked like Ralphie’s little brother Randy from a Christmas Story. Now, I’ve always been a huge proponent of the chili dog. Raised to love the chili dog, this moment brought it all full circle for me, because I even got to enjoy it with the very person who raised me this way. Remember back when I reviewed the Yankee Stadium dog? I said I wanted to hand down the weenie throne and educate a young boy about the sausage. This was that moment, y’all. The plateau of hot dog education was occurring. Today, I earned my PhD in the weenie.


Look at the focus on those ol’ boys.

I don’t want to go too far and give this dog a serious rating because I don’t want to lose sight of my mission. This hot dog is not served in New York, so please know that it will not be considered in the race for the golden weenie. I will, however, say that it deserves 4 weenies. Get it. It is worth going out of your way for if you are in DC.


So, what else happened at the game? The Nats lost a crucial game to the Mets, 8-5, but I saw a grand slam, got some discounted Heinekens, went to the bathroom three times, and even got my picture taken with William H. Taft, the 27th President of the United States. Why did I pick Taft? Well, he was also a Chief Justice, the inventor of the seventh inning stretch, rocked a sweet moustache, and more importantly, got stuck in a bathtub one time. My hat goes off to you Mr. Taft; I can only hope to one day be as gracefully gluttonous as you.

Hardcore weenie reviewing resumes next week. Stay tuned.


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