We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Never underestimate the power of the half-smoke. The Daily Meal has released its list of “101 Best Restaurants in America for 2012.” Various D.C. locations earn mentions, most notably including the iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl, ranked No. 83. The site clearly acknowledges the subjectivity of the final results: “Ben’s Chili Bowl made it but Meadowood didn’t?” Perhaps more surprising to local diners than Ben’s leapfrogging one of Napa Valley’s most esteemed haute dining destinations, however, is that the half-smoke mecca ranks higher on the list than Frank Ruta‘s acclaimed Palena. Which sort of begs the question: Which would you rather eat right now? Ben’s signature Bill Cosby-endorsed chili half-smoke? Or, Ruta’s truffled Palena burger?