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Trend Watch

Has the mini burger’s success paved the way for a mini hot dog to follow in its trendy steps? [IMGCAP(1)]

The mini burger spread across town like wildfire from Matchbox to the Ugly Mug and beyond, and now PS 7’s chef and owner Peter Smith has introduced “petite” house-made hot dogs on his bar menu. The dish offers two hot dogs of diminutive stature, accompanied by two half-smokes of equal size.

Smith spent about a month perfecting the hot dog recipe, which uses all beef and a blend of spices including smoked paprika and coriander. The little dogs are cured overnight and cold smoked for a few hours in cherry wood. The half-smoke gets an additional kick from chili flakes. A bowl of matchstick fries and condiments complete the presentation.

The dish, regularly $13, is $7 during the restaurant’s happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. PS 7’s is located at 777 I St. NW.

Mark Your Calendar. Share Our Strength’s 19th annual Taste of the Nation, one of the largest gatherings of Washington-area restaurants, will be held April 9 at the Hilton Washington (1919 Connecticut Ave. NW).

More than 50 restaurants, along with around 20 wineries, will be on hand offering samples. Representing Capitol Hill will be Belga Café, Bistro Bis and Charlie Palmer Steak. The event will

run from 7 to 10 p.m. with a VIP preview from 6 to 7 p.m.

Chef Barton Seaver, who recently left Café Saint-Ex to open Hook, a seafood restaurant in Georgetown, will serve as honorary chairman, and Charlie Palmer sommelier Nadine Brown will serve as beverage chairwoman.

Tickets are $75 for general admission, $110 for admission and access to a VIP lounge, and $200 for VIP ticket area admission. All proceeds from ticket sales go to Share Our Strength.

Call 877-268-2783 for tickets or visit

If You Can’t Take the Heat. An impressive roster of Members will head off Capitol Hill and into a culinary competition March 27 for the annual March of Dimes Gourmet Gala at the National Building Museum. In a reversal of roles, noteworthy chefs will judge the Members’ recipes and award prizes for Best Chef.

The cook-off will take place during the cocktail reception, which starts at 7 p.m. The “chefs” will offer guests samples of their recipes.

Scheduled to compete are Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kit Bond (R-Mo.), Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Larry Craig (R-Idaho), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Trent Lott (R-Miss.), Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), and Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Henry Brown (R-S.C.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), John Dingell (D-Mich.), Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.), Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Jim McCrery (R-La.), Charlie Melancon (D-La.), John Mica (R-Fla.), Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Pete Stark (D-Calif.), Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), John Tanner (D-Tenn.), Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.).

Judges for the evening are Paul Zucconi, founder of La Colline; Howard Foer, executive chef of Manor House at Poplar Springs; Martin Garbisu of Charlie Palmer Steak; Vikram Garg, executive chef of IndeBleu; Morou Ouattara of Farrah Olivia; Denis Sirieys of Johnny’s Half Shell; and Roger Wiles, executive chef of The Georgetown Club.

The event raises money for the Mama and Baby Bus, which provides free prenatal and dental care to pregnant women in Washington, D.C. Individual tickets are $1,000. Tables start at $10,000. For more information and tickets, call 703-556-4245.

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