Foodie: Ben Folsom, The Curly R
Venue: FedEx Field
Team: Washington Redskins
Greetings, Ben from Curly R here, the guys here at Fan Foodie asked me to come on the blog and write a bit about Redskins tailgating and food in Washington DC. At first I had a hard time figuring out what to write, not about the food, there is lots of good food in DC. The problem was the tailgating. You see, while many NFL cities have food traditions, brisket and ribs in Kansas City, bratwurst in Green Bay, wings in Buffalo, pierogies in Pittsburgh, crabcakes in Baltimore, you get get the idea, there is no real food tradition in Washington.
So then what do we do? On a gameday walk through the lot at FedEx Field you will find everything from burgers...
...to steak and potatoes served up by a superfan...
At FedEx Field there is even a full time staff of Eagles fans cook our food for us.
If you are looking for lighter fare you can find Twinkies and beer...
...or hot pretzels...
...and if you are feeling sluggish before the game you can snack on a Smack, cornerback Fred Smoot's energy bar.
Maybe if Fred had munched on a few more of these on gameday he would not have lost his starting spot but I digress.
And of course there is plenty of booze.
So why is it that we have no real food traditions in Washington? Perhaps as a center of technology Washingtonians are preoccupied with staying plugged in...
...or maybe Washington's nature as a transitory town full of latte-sipping, brie-eating, wine-swilling liberals prevents any traditions from taking hold, even after 70 years...
...but more likely it is because we are a town full of self important Blackberrying douchebags.
If you were too busy drinking to eat outside the stadium you will want to get some food in you before you fill up on eight dollar beers...
...but alas these chefs are not cooking up the Hog worthy vittles. About the best you can do on the inside is Johnny Rockets...
...just ask them to hold the rats.
Well now the game is over and you have just witnessed the Redskins go on to another tight loss, you still need food and booze, so where do you go?
If you are uptown in Washington DC, no booze fueled game day is complete without a trip to Ben's Chili Bowl.
Opened in 1958 and located in the Shaw neighborhood, Ben's Chili Bowl was frequented by the likes of Miles Davis and Duke Ellington in 1950s segregated Washington. As Shaw's neighborhood fortunes sagged through the 70s and 80s Ben's hung on and now that Shaw is a hopping place to be it is not uncommon to see a late night line out the door for the messiest, sloppiest and goodinest chili covered half smokes in town.
If you fall into the category of elitist football fans that needs a sit down meal, cloth napkins and top shelf bourbon, point yourself toward the White House and get a table at Old Ebbitt Grill.
If a burger is what you are looking for then you cannot do better than Five Guys, the best burgers and fries in DC.
Five Guys is an all burgers all the time chain of joints first established in 1986 by the founder and his four sons, hence the five guys. For nearly two decades Five Guys was Washington local until they realized they had a formula, now there are more than 300 locations nationwide, all hewing to a strict formula of hand formed burger patties cooked well done, locally made buns and fries cut from Maine or Idaho potatoes. While you wait for your made to order burger to cook in the open kitchen you can munch on cooked salted peanuts and leave notes of praise on a public bulletin board, Five Guys is consistently ranked as the best burger in DC by Washingtonian Magazine. Five Guys also has a Redskins connection, after establishing his own chain of Frankly Fries establishments after retiring, all time Redskins scoring leader and kicker Mark Moseley is a director of Five Guys franchise development.
Five Guys remains a mandatory part of my football Sundays.
After the gameday festivities are all said and done sometimes you cannot just go home and pass out cold fish, sometimes you need a bigass plate of greasy eggs and hash to settle things. Lucky for you there is a place in Arlington on Columbia Pike that caters to degenerate late nighters like yourselves, Bob & Edith's Diner.
Bob & Edith's is a 24 hour diner specializing in the nastiest tastiest diner food you ever had, hotcakes, sausage, corned beef hash and eggs any way you want them. Meatloaf, fried chicken and burgers are on the menu as well but if you can stand the wait to get in on a busy latenight then that is not what you are there for. The hash browns do not need salt but you will dose them up anyway.
When you come to a Redskins game, bring your tailgating tradition because we need it. Drop a comment here and let us know where you like to go after the game. Thanks to Fan Foodie for inviting me over and see you around teh webs!