Lost Dog Cafe

Written by on May 22, 2011 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(lostdogcafe.com) – Arlington, Virginia

Lost Dog Sign

How I heard of this place: I found a coupon in the local Val-Pak for the Stray Cat Cafe and it pointed to the Lost Dog Cafe. Without giving it much thought, not more than a few days later, my new friend Suzie suggested it for dinner, a place where all eight of us could find something to satisfy, as well as being vegetarian-friendly.

Type of cuisine: Boasting itself as a “Gourmet Pizza Deli”, the motto says it all. Everything from seasoned, oven-baked waffle fries and onion rings, to chili and seven-layer dip, from soups, salads, gourmet pizzas, specialty sandwiches – on croissants and pita bread, gyro style. Milkshakes, malts, sodas and juices, as well as beer (patrons are limited to three alcoholic drinks for the safety and enjoyment of customers) are offered to wash down the abundant list of selections on the Lost Dog menu.

Inside wall

Ambiance: Colorful, vibrant and fun-loving are the first words that come to mind to describe the Lost Dog setting. Walking in, customers are welcomed into a space of colorful wall art, paintings of dogs in various settings. Alongside the entryway and towards the back of the shop can be found bottles of brew in cases and vending refrigerators. At the back, the counter staff assist those wishing to purchase items from the shop or pick up their to-go orders. Towards the right is the restaurant seating, where cafe staff take your party to be seated. The cafe space is similarly decorated with brightly colored paintings, each of which centers around a dog or mutt. Glazed wooden tables, in light birch tones are set adjacent to bench seating on one side and chairs along the opposite. Tall ceilings and a bustling environment keep patrons entertained and feeling like they are in a space larger than solely the square footage.

For Sale

What I ordered: To start, the dining companion on the same bill as I, ordered the Lost Dog Dip ($7.95), 7-layers starting with homemade chili, cheddar cheese, guacamole, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, green onions and black olives served with tri-colored (green, blue, red and original) tortilla chips and toasted pita triangles. Having heard rave reviews about the Lost Dog Root Beer on tap ($3.50 each), three of us at the table ordered it. For our main entrees, my dining companion and I split the new K-9 ($7.50), with smoked turkey breast, Brie, tomatoes, lettuce, and a pesto mayo on a buttery croissant, and the new El Bandido ($7.50), grilled chicken breast, bacon, red peppers, red onions, ranch, zesty horseradish, Swiss cheese, and a pinch of crushed red peppers served hot in a pita. My newest friend and the vegetarian who introduced us to the Lost Dog Cafe selected a cup of Veggie Chili ($3.95; $4.95 per bowl) and a small Greek Salad ($4.94; $7.95 for the large; $2 additional for grilled chicken breast), with romaine lettuce, onions, green peppers, tomatoes and black olives, topped with crumbled feta cheese and served with feta vinaigrette. Each of the large salads also come with a slice of warm pita. One of the men in our party ordered the Amazon salad ($9.95), grilled yellow fin tuna over a rainforest of salad greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and artichoke hearts, served with feta vinaigrette. Another male in our crew ordered The Falcon ($7.50), char-grilled chicken breast with sauteed onions and green peppers, tucked inside a warm pita with melted mozzarella cheese and garlic mayo, and the Italian Fries ($2.95), oven-baked waffle fries with a mild seasoning. The oldest in our party, our token parental units each ordered their own California Dreaming ($7.50 each), whole wheat sub rolls stuffed with lean spiced turkey breast, lettuce, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts and avocado. The youngest in our party decided to create his own pizza, an individual size ($8.95), basic with cheese and added green olives ($0.50) and pineapple ($0.50).

On a return visit, Friday, March 8, 2013Two of our good friends mentioned to us, a few months back, that they spend every Friday evening at Lost Dog Cafe and have seamlessly become regulars at this cozy, vibrant establishment. We decided to join them on this Friday evening to see for ourselves what all of the fuss is about.

My husband and I each quenched our fasting thirst with a tall, thick glass of their house-brewed Dominion Root Beer ($1.75 each).

Dominion Root Beer

Feeling as though the two small pizzas the four of us had selected would not be enough to satisfy the hunger of two fasting adults with large appetites, we ordered the Fat Willis Chopped Salad ($9.95) filled with grilled chicken breast, crisp smoked bacon, fresh avocado, crumbled feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions on top of romaine lettuce, served with a peppery parmesan dressing.

Fat Willis

For our main entrees, the four of us split the Polynesian ($7.98) pizza with homemade tomato sauce, shrimp (half, with half chicken), hickory ham, pineapple, and crisp bacon, smothered with mozzarella cheese.


Our second small pizza, the Pedigree Pie ($9.47) with garlic butter, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and spinach covered with parmesan, fontina and mozzarella cheeses and sprinkled with fresh basil. A side of anchovies ($1) and jalapenos ($0.50) and we were set to Feast!


What I loved: The chili was amazing, warm spicy, hearty and full of a mix of beans and ground meat! The Root Beer probably the best I have ever had, slightly carbonated, sweet and not diluted with a glass full of ice. Of our sandwiches, I preferred the light and fresh combination of flavors of the K-9, but the spicy heat and heavy flavors of the El Bandido would be a warm delight on a cold, winter day.

Why I loved it: The food tastes fresh, the space is large and open, the money raised serves a good cause, and the staff is friendly and easy-going despite the hustle of the crowds and the the busy-ness of the environment.

Fat Willis Close-Up

Cost: Average ($7.50 per entree-sized sandwich, $8.95-$26.95 per pizza individual to large 16” with 10 toppings)

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