June 25, 2007

Save the lost dogs!

I visited The Lost Dog Cafe last night in Arlington, VA. The original plan was to go to The Stray Cat Cafe (just a few doors down) but they were closed. So Lost Dog it was! And yes, you probably guessed that both places are owned by the same people. They help lost animals by helping them find homes. (See websites for details). When you enter the Lost Dog, the first room is full of beer and wine that you can purchase on the go, as well as a counter for party platters. Lost Dog is definitely more casual than its feline sister, but sometimes aren't you just in the mood for pizza or a sandwich? The "pizza-deli" serves basically just that - pizzas and sandwiches, and the menu is huge. There are many pre-designed pizzas and sandwiches, or of course you can design your own using their extensive list of ingredients. The beer selection is also HUGE, but they have other homemade drinks worth trying, like milkshakes, malts, root beer, and the delicious Clemson Tiger Tea (aka an Arnold Palmer). I had a Coke and we shared a basket of Dog Collars (tabasco onion rings) which were tasty but not as crispy as I would have liked. I did not order a pizza - OK I have to be honest, the pizzas did not look that good - but instead the San Diego sandwich: chicken salad (you can also get tuna salad) on a sub roll with guacamole, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. Now why you would need mayo on a sandwich with chicken salad (aka chicken with mayo) and guacamole is beyond me, but they held the mayo, no questions asked. It was ok - too much chicken salad, and way too many (red) onions in it, not enough guacamole for the guac lover that I am, but the bacon was crispy and the lettuce and tomatoes fresh. I tasted their banana fudge milkshake for dessert, yummy, full of bananas, but described by the bf as "an upscale Frosty from Wendy's" - it wasn't that banana-ey even with all the banana.
My overall impression: The service was fast and friendly, they do great work helping dogs (I am a dog lover), and the sandwiches are fresh. I would go elsewhere for pizza since the crust reminded me of bisquick crusts from yesteryear (see my post on 2 Amys for good pizza!) and the floors could have been cleaner, although in their defense, it was the very end of the night. Prices are reasonable, however, and for a quick bite in the neighborhood, especially with kids, it seems like a fun place to go.

N.B. One bathroom for men, one for women; women's was clean, had soap, towels (in the wonderful motion-sensor dispenser,) a step-on garbage can, and you could push your way out of the door, although it's hard to open the door with a paper towel and then reach with your foot to step on the can to throw it away while holding the door open :) I prefer garbage cans with no lid, which are much easier to toss the towel into as you ease out the door.

http://www.lostdogcafe.com/ and http://www.thestraycatcafe.com/

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