The Arsenal: Sweet Potato Gnocchi

The Arsenal

We’re not as dense as a shiksa’s matzo balls. We know you schleped to Bluejacket for the house-brewed beer – all 25 of them. But stick with us for a minute because the Neighborhood Restaurant Group dining destination located inside the brewery – The Arsenal – has a lot to offer. Head over to the Navy Yard early, grab some brews and snacks in the bar area before sitting down for your reservation in the adjoining restaurant that focuses on pairing food with beer.

The Best Thing on the Menu: Sweet potato gnocchi, duck meatball, tallegio fonduta and greens is perfect for winter. And, lets face it with one and half underwhelming snow days under our belt, winter is here. It’s rich, comforting and super salty, which normally would irk me but it goes so well with beer.

Other top picks, the humble rotisserie half chicken thanks to its pretzel stuffing; the eighteen hour short rib because of the melt-in-you-mouth parmesan spaetzle; and the merguez burger because lamb’s got game. Rumor has it they recently added gluten-free burgers.

The Arsenal Restaurant

Let me be the 443rd person to tell you that Bluejacket and The Arsenal are housed inside an expansive factory where workers once built boilers for ships. It’s an impressive space. Check it out if you haven’t yet and wash down The Best Thing on the Menu with The Butcher: A dunkles dopplebock inspired by Red Apron’s half smoke. It features a dark and strong lager that is brewed with Red Apron-smoked malt and half-smoke spice mix. Gotta love drinks that taste like food. …

Sweet potato gnocchi not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.

Ben’s Chili Bowl: Chili Half-Smoke


Ben’s Chili Bowl is a late night cultural institution that has been handing out hotdogs since 1958. The Best Thing on the Menu: Bill Cosby’s Original Chili Half-Smoke needs very little introduction.

We asked ourselves, how does one smoke only half of a hotdog? Where does the name come from? In our research, we came across a Washington CityPaper article – The Missing Link. Though from 2007, this article comprehensively covers the culture behind processed meat here in our nation’s capital.

Another good question, who’s Ben? Ben Ali immigrated from Trinidad and studied dentistry at Howard University. He opened the restaurant in 1958 with his soon to be wife, Virginia. The restaurant played a unique role in the civil rights movement and has been the heart and soul of DC ever since.

The half-smoke for those who haven’t tried it (what’s wrong with you?) is a 1/4lb. half pork, half beef smoked sausage on a warm steamed bun and topped with mustard, onions and spicy homemade chili. Made to order, these dogs can be split or grilled on request.

Chili Bowl faithfuls rejoiced earlier this year upon learning that there will be a new location added at 1001 H Street NE!

Half-smoke not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.