Ben Ali


Restaurant owner of the famous Washington diner Ben's Chili Bowl, in a part of America's Black Broadway, the thriving business and entertainment district along Washington U Street has been a rendezvous of America's famous celebratory in politics and entertainment industry. Mahaboob Ben Ali, whose grandparents were from northern India, was born in Trinidad and went to the US in 1945 as a student. He opened the Ben's Chili Bowl restaurant in 1958. Indeed, Ben's has become something of a mandatory stop for politicians, both local and national. His chilli recipe is a family secret. Coming from the Caribbean, Ben thought American foods were bland, and believed there would be a market for spicier fare. Bon Appetit magazine named, in 2009, Ben's the best chilli spot in America.

Compiler: M. Nauman Khan

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