Tag Archives: chili cheese fries

Dispatches from the Capitol: National Zoo, CCF, and Union Station

10 Mar

What’s for dinner today?


… read a panel next to the cheetah enclosure. According to it, my 100-150 lb. weight bracket put me in the same class as the female warthog, and as a female warthog, I could be eaten within a half hour by lions and would be especially relished by hyenas. However, I would not have to fear cheetahs, because according to another sign, adult humans are too dense and heavy for cheetahs to eat. Instead, cheetahs prefer prey at or below 100 lbs., like a gazelle — which is “about the size of a sixth grader.”

I feel for any sixth grader who is reading this blog or is familiar with that sign. All the same, some of those signs at the National Zoo were curiously hilarious.

Aside from humorous blurbs, the Zoo has other obvious treasures. Here are photos of a couple of them. First, the Fly River Turtle, or Pig-nosed Turtle. I prefer the former name, because it evokes images of a shoreside reptile sporting cool threads. Second, the White-faced saki, who looks rather like an old sage in this photo.

Now, I have a very cool story to share with you. Today, I ate chili cheese fries — surprise, surprise.

As you can see, the chili and cheese look good, but the fries look more like they’ve been microwaved than fried. I tried getting some ketchup in my basket to add a little flavor, but air pressure worked against any ketchup flow. An older man, maybe in his 50s or 60s, passed along his ketchup bottle, which worked just fine.

We both continued eating — I read a Chinese article while fries undoubtedly poked out of my mouth. He talked to the waitress about his hometown of Chicago and how he visited Sioux Falls, South Dakota last week. It was freezing there on Saturday, apparently.

Then he left.

And then the waitress told me that he paid for my meal and instructed her not to say anything to me until after he had left. That was all.

After that, I joined a photography group through a church I’m attending in DC. We took some photos around Union Station. Most of mine turned out bleh — a combination of poor shutter speed judgment, lens flare, and the fewer number of interesting subjects out at that time of night.

This one is decent, and even has the Capitol in the background. That little neon red light trail on the left is courtesy of her ciggy.

My Ever-Expanding Stomach: Chili Cheese Fries

25 Feb

Chili cheese fries: my shame, my glory. As I detailed in an earlier post, I’m a big (?) fan of the food. I’ll write more on that later. For now, a couple of notes.

1. I went to Ben’s Chili Bowl twice within one week, which was probably unwise. I went first on my own, and then again with some friends after a poetry session at a local cafe bombed and we had time to kill.

That’s CCF with nacho cheese. The second time, I split a CCF with shredded cheddar cheese with a friend.

If you go to Ben’s Chili Bowl, I suggest you skip the CCF and buy a hot dog.

2. Good Stuff Eatery charges $7 for CCF, with tax, it’s $7.70. I protested this to the cashier, but all he did was laugh at me.

The fries here are very good, seasoned with rosemary, thyme, and sea salt. The chili is a bit sweet for my taste, and dwarfed the fries. All that aside, pretty good CCF, if not at a steep price. They use processed cheese, which may turn some people off — but not me. I’m a sucker for additives.

chili cheese fries

9 Jan

I, Paulina, am a chili cheese fry connoisseur. Yes, I fully recognize that this isn’t a food expertise I should vaunt. Believe me when I say I would rather have a discerning palate for cheese, be able to pick up subtle fruity notes in wine, or possess an exhaustive knowledge of espresso techniques.

But for better or for worse, I have fallen in love with an item rooted firmly in the carny food group, flanked by other standard American delicacies such as corn dogs, root beer floats, and deep-fried Oreos.

Anyway, this was all just a long way of introduction to my chili cheese fry document, which is hosted at Google Docs. Should you also have a penchant for the food, this should be a helpful resource to you as it includes prices and a brief review. It’s also color coded: black denotes acceptable; gray, unacceptable; red, good; blue, untried; green, pending.

The list is pretty near completion, though I leave out options that no longer exist (e.g., Jack in the Box, Burrito Kingdom). I omit cheddar bacon fries, poutine, carne asada fries, and other second cousins to the chili cheese fry.

I welcome comments, and especially welcome recommendations.

I leave you with a few CCF photos: