npr's weekend edition has a piece up where two gourmet food writers go to ben's chili bowl. it's actually kind of poorly paced and boring, but, it's ben's! and there's this great exchange:
npr lady: "i'm listening to you order, and you've ordered a substantial amount of food..."
male food writer: "...and we've only had four meals today..."
npr lady: "is there...some secret to your digestive system?"
male food writer: "oh, here come the cakes and pies."
they also address the problem they had of finding a d.c. local food speciality, and agree it's the half-smoke.