by Tim Regan February 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

A handful of local restaurants and chefs are now in the running for one of the culinary world’s most prestigious awards.

The James Beard Foundation announced the 2016 semifinalists for its annual James Beard Awards earlier this morning, a list that includes 11 restaurants, six chefs, and one restauranteur from D.C. (more…)

by Tim Regan October 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm 0

ANC 1B Community Heroes Award presentation

Community leaders from ANC 1B honored two Ben’s Chili Bowl cooks last night for saving a man during a violent mugging that occurred in an alley near the restaurant in June.

Ben’s employees Juan Roman Carrosco and Pedro Contreras confronted two attackers as they beat and robbed a man behind the restaurant, reported FOX 5. Armed only with their belts, Carrosco and Contreras charged at the attackers and chased them away. The victim — who has previously gone by the name “Lance,” — later said that, had it not been for Carrosco and Contreras, he could have been seriously injured or even lost an eye.

With Ben’s owner Virginia Ali in the audience, Commissioner John Green, 1B-12, presented the commission’s community heroes award to Carrosco and Contreras during the ANC’s monthly meeting at the Reeves Center.

“There was a man … who was being mugged, violently beaten, by two individuals behind Ben’s Chili Bowl, and these gentlemen stepped in and prevented the crime from becoming much worse,” Green said from the podium.

Green then read a letter addressed from the victim to his saviors.

“Words cannot possibly express my gratitude to the two of you, despite being complete strangers to me,” Lance wrote in the letter.

“I remember grabbing my eye and then seeing blood, and then not being able to open my eye,” Lance continued. “As I looked up in the alley, hunched over, your silhouettes looked like the calvary coming to the rescue. My mother called you angels. At that moment, seeing the two of you running with your belts in the air, chasing the two cowardly thugs. I just remember thinking, thank God it’s over, and I’m okay.”

“These guys have my back,” Lance’s letter concluded. “It was one of the best moments of my life.”

Green read the letter in Spanish and presented copies to Carrosco and Contreras to a thundering round of applause.

Ali, who has previously called her employees “stars,” then spoke up. “Thank you very much,” she said. “I hope you don’t mind if we take them back to their duties,” she joked.


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