The Dish: Petite house-made hot dog and half-smoke
The Location: PS 7’s, 777 I St. NW, (202) 742-8550.
The Price: $10
The Skinny: As I was conducting research for my column on M’Dawg Haute Dogs, a number of folks had made false assumptions about the Adams Morgan eatery, namely that its mission was to serve house-made links and/or regional dogs. A fast-food joint serving house-made sausages would be utter folly, I thought; it would put the price of a lowly link on par with the house-made one at Palena Cafe. That’s no longer fast food. So when I heard that chef Peter Smith was going to start selling a pair of house-made links for $10 on the side patio at PS 7’s, I was intrigued. That’s $5 a pop, right in line with the links at M’Dawg. Well, I got two surprises when I turned up this week at the Chinatown temple of molecular gastronomy: First, the patio was closed because of a threat of a thunderstorm. Second, the links are actually these cute little torpedoes, no bigger than a butcher’s swollen index finger. Both sausages are 100 percent beef, loosely ground and stuffed into natural casings, then grilled and tucked into pastry chef Naomi Gallego‘s teeny house-made buns. They drip delicious orange-tinted juices as if they were burgers, not dogs. That would be selling point enough, but Smith tries to take it one step further by creating his own version of the D.C. half-smoke. He mixes the succulent beef with chili flakes and then smokes the sausage with cherry wood in a baby smoker in the kitchen. The dog, while spicy, doesn’t have the heat of a true half-smoke. But, really, what do you expect? PS 7’s is not exactly Ben’s Chili Bowl. Smith clearly knows his audience——and his dogs.