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Lost Dog Cafe - Pam McAlwee and Ross Underwood's Pizza Deli With A Large Beer Selection


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We've been ordering from Lost Dog fairly often this week (simultaneous kitchen and bathroom updating will do that to you...). I love their tomato-feta pie (light on the feta) -- it has rosemary and toasted pine nuts. Yum. I also love their Big Dog sandwich -- messy but filling and delicious. Their milkshakes really vary -- if they listen and make them "extra thick," they're not usually evil. "Regular" thickness isn't worth it. We tried their brownies this week -- perfect, with chocolate chips and no nuts -- and I tried a peanut butter pie thing last night that really didn't do it for me. We've eaten in a few times and like their onion rings, but I honestly (even with the ridiculously poor communication skills of almost every single person manning the delivery line) prefer delivery. PLUS, rumor has it that by the end of the summer, they'll be able to deliver some of their fabulous selection of beers again -- woo hoo!

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I order regularly from LDC and was out of the "zone" for 3 years (down the road in Mclean but traffic often prevented a quick run). I have 3 of said brownies sitting here (the Big Dog and fries don't get me to the $15 minimum) so I have to order up (I ordered from a cab last nite on the way back from IAD after a trip from SFO). One of my stipulations for moving was to be back in the zone...thank god I'm back.

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I've had one too many skunked beers from this joint.

Wide selection, although I suspect they sit on the shelves too long. Sad as I am to go to a chain, Total Wine in VA has more beer at better prices. [To clarify, I am referring to the take-out beer in the front of the store.]

However, I do favor The Bureaucrat sub.

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We used to live right down the street from Lost Dog from 1999 to 2002. We only went to the restaurant a few times, but ordered delivery a lot. When we went there, there were almost always out of beer, my friend would sometimes have to order five or six beers before he found one that they had. The onion rings were pretty good, but only if ordered there, they got too soggy for delivery. There was a good mix of sandwiches, which we liked, and the pizza was OK. The issue with delivery, however, is that they ALWAYS screwed up our order. And, when I say always, I mean 100% of the time, for the 50+ times that we ordered from them. Every time they screwed up, we got something free the next time, so we didn't mind too much, but they always got it wrong, it was baffling.

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I work at the intersection of Broad and Washington in Falls Church and a coworker steered us this way for lunch a few months ago. At first we wondered if it was worth the drive, even though it was short (hey, we walk to everything, including once to the German place waaaay down the road), but it didn't take much to impress us. We've been back a number of times and ordered delivery from them since they are one of the very few establishments in that Falls Church area who does actually deliver. Here's the general consensus from my coworkers and moi

-Pizza- is OK. Interesting toppings, good crusts. However, I am from Boston, I am a pizza snob, and I'm not a huge fan. Z Pizza is down the street from us and is our go-do delivery joint for pizza and salad, which I admit to being addicted to their Thai pizza, but that's another post. For the Lost Dog, the sandwiches here are the real star, so

-Sandwiches- are fabulous, especially the hot sandwiches, which start popping up after option #20 or so. Their homemade pitas are nothing short of awesome, and I have yet to have a dud sandwich. My favorites include the Dotty (yum black beans), the Muttly, the Bird, and the Fat Molly. I have heard good things about the Cowboy, the President and the Razbo-Oscar.

-The Fries- suck. A lot. Every time I say I'm not going to get them, and then think, wait, I'll give them a second chance, well, they end up sucking. They're waffle fries with "Italian Seasoning" which is fine in and of itself, however they have always arrived limp, mushy, and otherwise unenthusiastic about being a french fry. And this has always been for dining in; I've never tempted the fry gods by ordering them for delivery.

Also, the Clemson Tiger Tea consisting of half lemonade, half iced-tea, rocks. Also, they deliver that, heh. The prices that aren't too far off from what the other sandwich joints offer (Cosi, Quiznos, Subway), plus there's the added plus of being able to buy BEER, either with lunch or on your way out from their cases. Parking can be difficult at times with a parking lot that's only a tiny bit bigger than Samantha's over in Silver Springs, but street parking can usually be found fairly easily.

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The Fries- suck. A lot. Every time I say I'm not going to get them, and then think, wait, I'll give them a second chance, well, they end up sucking. They're waffle fries with "Italian Seasoning" which is fine in and of itself, however they have always arrived limp, mushy, and otherwise unenthusiastic about being a french fry.

The fries, not so bad. Mine have always beeen crisp. As for sandwiches, this is a classic:

27. The Bureaucrat

Turkey breast, melted muenster cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and honey mustard dressing $6.25

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The Lost Dog Cafe website says that a new location will be opening at 2920 Columbia Pike this summer. I believe that is right across the street from the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse in a new condo building with some preserved old facades. The current location has a great beer selection and some pretty good (but not great) sandwiches and pizza. Hopefully the new location will continue with the great beer selection. That section of Columbia Pike is already home to some great restaurants, but the drinking options are limited. I haven't seen the new location, so I have no idea if they have even started construction.

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The Lost Dog Cafe website says that a new location will be opening at 2920 Columbia Pike this summer. I believe that is right across the street from the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse in a new condo building with some preserved old facades. The current location has a great beer selection and some pretty good (but not great) sandwiches and pizza. Hopefully the new location will continue with the great beer selection. That section of Columbia Pike is already home to some great restaurants, but the drinking options are limited. I haven't seen the new location, so I have no idea if they have even started construction.

Lost Dog (the original location) is also expanding into the space next door previously occupied by a laundromat. Maybe they'll upgrade from that decrepit conveyor belt to a real pizza oven too?

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Heh, I looked at the condo building they are going to be in - loving the fact that Lost Dog is supposed to go there - and they wanted WAY too much money for their places!

Even compared to the Ballston-Rosslyn corridor...

So I live in that building now, and it is no longer condos. It's now luxury apartments and I am psyched about the Lost Dog opening. There is also some sort of upscale Irish pub rumored to be opening there too. Right now I'm eating a lot at Bangkok 54, but I'm going to try the peruvian chicken joint tonight.

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So I live in that building now, and it is no longer condos. It's now luxury apartments and I am psyched about the Lost Dog opening. There is also some sort of upscale Irish pub rumored to be opening there too. Right now I'm eating a lot at Bangkok 54, but I'm going to try the peruvian chicken joint tonight.

The peruvian chicken place on Walter Reed has made it into our regular rotation. Simple, easy, consistently good. Some nights it is on par with Pollo Rico, but it is always reliably adequate. I have no idea what the name of it is though.

I second the thoughts about the Lost Dog. Hopefully they will not have the oh-sorry-we-are-out-of-that-one syndrome that often happens at the original location.

I heard the pub was a branch of McGinty's in Silver Spring. That stretch is in desparate need of a pub or anything to call a local joint. The LA Bar and Grill doesn't cut it. Maybe we can start a "Bring Guinness to the Pike in '09" club.

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The peruvian chicken place on Walter Reed has made it into our regular rotation. Simple, easy, consistently good. Some nights it is on par with Pollo Rico, but it is always reliably adequate. I have no idea what the name of it is though.

I second the thoughts about the Lost Dog. Hopefully they will not have the oh-sorry-we-are-out-of-that-one syndrome that often happens at the original location.

I heard the pub was a branch of McGinty's in Silver Spring. That stretch is in desparate need of a pub or anything to call a local joint. The LA Bar and Grill doesn't cut it. Maybe we can start a "Bring Guinness to the Pike in '09" club.

The chicken place is called La Cabana. It was excellent and a good value. half a chicken, side of fried plaintains, and a salad was under $7. I was talking to our night concierge last night and she says that the Irish pub is on its way to being completed later this summer. The other side of the building will house the Arlington Free Clinic. I desperately want a decent watering hole here. The LA Bar and Grill scares me. I saw it and haven't stopped in. I've spent weekends at the Salsa club down the street, but a low key place is what the area needs.

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I've had one too many skunked beers from this joint.

And again. This time a six-pack of Full Circle kolsch-style beer, with flakey-looking things floating around in the bottles. I tried contacting them on their website, but didn't see anywhere to write them (I wasn't going to say who I was, or ask for a refund; I merely wanted to let them know that their beer was defective).

Great selection, sure, but I've bought some seriously damaged six-packs here. If their build-out into the laundromat (and branch-out into the second location) doesn't solve their beer-storage problems, I'm going to lay into them. Please clean up after your expansion, my animal-loving friends.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Great selection, sure, but I've bought some seriously damaged six-packs here.

FYI, I haven't been in but my friends tell me that the independent grocery store across the street has seriously upgraded its beer and wine selections. They even do a wine tasting on the first Friday of each month. It may be a better alternative to the Lost Dog in that neighborhood for take-away beer.

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I would suggest waiting for a few weeks before going to the new location. My two kids and I had a very unfortunate experience there tonight. I will give props to the owners who comped us for our entire meal (what actually came out in bits and pieces cold and hot). But waiting an hour and 15 minutes for a sub and two not so great pizzas was a bit disappointing. I would also add that the fries and onion rings were stone cold when they hit the table. As was my first sub.

They were very stressed about making sure they refired everything, but there were a lot of excuses about it raining a lot, the fact their kitchen is understaffed, and they didn't expect so many people to show up. Still, if I come in, I expect a basic level of service. That didn't happen from the kitchen nor did it happen from the front of house who didn't even deliver napkins or cutlery to the table.

Quite a disappointment from what should be a good go to in my neighborhood.

If they can work it out, I think they may have something good. I just know it will take awhile before I go back.

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Has anyone been to the Columbia Pike Lost Dog recently? My family and I were considering trying it out since it's close to our favorite bike shop. My husband would be seriously disappointed in poor beer.

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Has anyone been to the Columbia Pike Lost Dog recently? My family and I were considering trying it out since it's close to our favorite bike shop. My husband would be seriously disappointed in poor beer.

My wife and I have been regulars for 10 years and couldn't be happier that they are in the hood. The food at either location is consistent if not overwhelming. To your husband's point (and my heart) the variety is a huge addition to the neighborhood. The drafts are a nice offering of things off the beaten path (although as a "hop head" there wasn't an American Pale Ale that would have me popping me head in regularly). It is awesome though to order a pie for delivery and get a six of CAs Nectar Pale Ale or MIs Bell's Two Hearted. A Woodchuck cider was on draft though along with Blue Point's Blueberry (haven't seen it too frequently) with some other offerings as well.

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So after a couple of months after my first visit (which if you read above was less than stellar), and an online evisceration because of my review, I recently gave them another shot. They certainly worked out the bugs in terms of service and timing. We ordered a couple of draft Arrogant Bastards, which came out quickly. Per our request, the onion rings were delivered before the sandwiches and were hot. I'm not sure I love the onion rings, but it's a personal preference that has nothing to do with the kitchen or service.

We ordered two flatbread sandwiches which came out shortly after we finished the rings. Both were hot as were the accompanying fries. Our second round of bastards were delivered quickly as well. We decided to linger for awhile (first date) and they had no problem letting us enjoy our beers slowly even though it was a Saturday night (we didn't hog the table, just didn't chug the beers).

I've gone back for carry-out a couple of times, opting to call ahead since I live literally upstairs. Their beer selection has also improved in terms not of variety, but whether or not they actually have it in stock. There were some stocking issues early on, but it seems to have cleared up.

So, it's a good addition. This beats the hell out of the Subway across the street.

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The original Lost Dog Cafe will be "closing for renovations" :rolleyes: for a month, starting sometime in August.

They were closed today. It looks like they are also expanding into what was the laundromat next door. Maybe they will get rid of the conveyor belt pizza "oven" in favor of a real one.

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FYI, I haven't been in but my friends tell me that the independent grocery store across the street has seriously upgraded its beer and wine selections. They even do a wine tasting on the first Friday of each month. It may be a better alternative to the Lost Dog in that neighborhood for take-away beer.

While the Lost Dog is off-line, you may want to visit the Great Wall of Beer across the street at the Westover Market.

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Just met an old colleague at Lost Dog (the original, expanded location) for lunch.

I have to say, I was pretty impressed with the new space. Much more open than the old and at noon it was easy to get a seat (as opposed to when I used to frequent the old place, back when I didn't work/live in the city). The chicken corn chowder was as good as I remembered it being and the Razbo Oscar (chicken, feta cheese, lettuce, onions, tomatoes) actually was better than usual (not sure what sort of upgrades they did in the kitchen but its definitely much bigger).

Another welcome addition is the increased cold storage space for the beer selection. As opposed to having shelves and shelves of warm beer all the cans/regular sized bottles are stored cold.

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The food was meh, but great beer selection in the coolers up front. Picked up a sixer of Founders Porter (they also had some beers by Breckenridge Brewery, and since I just got back from denver <review coming> that was a welcome sight!)

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Trying to find a non-66 fast way out of the disaster that is Tysons back to Arlington on saturday afternoon, we cut up Anderson Road heading toward Westmoreland and lo and behold what did we see. I big shiny new Safeway where that sketchy one used to be and an empty store front with a "coming Fall 2010" painting on it.

Yep, Lost Dog 3.0. It's on Anderson between 123 and Magarity. I think they will do well with all those govt. contractors in buildings north of the beltway and Cap One, etc. who don't want to venture over to towards the mall or into downtown McLean. Thought I would mention it because it is such an interesting location.

By the way, that new Safeway is HUUUGGEEEE and had a sit down sushi bar.

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It's on Anderson between 123 and Magarity.

Shhh....that's the secret Safeway because no one knows it's there. We shop there but obviously I haven't paid any attention because I don't recall seeing a sign of a new place opening. I'm officially not rejoicing at the addition of another uninteresting McLean restaurant.

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The Anderson Rd. location is open. I haven't been yet.

If you go, and are not drinking beer, get the root beer in frosted mug. I realize this place is not the most interesting cuisine wise, but we actually really like their pizzas and subs, it is very good morning after being out food or running errands and want a quick bite food. I really like the cheesesteak pizza, I think that is the name, thin sliced steak, mozz, peppers and onions and white sauce. And they have gf pizza, it's not cheap, but it's there. Their beer selection is pretty amazing.

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Last weekend, my brother and I were hanging out, both us vaguely sick, and just wanting something comforting.

A large Italian pie from Lost Dog, delivered fairly quickly, hit the spot perfectly.

I don't go out of my way to eat at Lost Dog but I've never had complaints when I've gone. And honestly, the style of pizza is more of my liking.

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The perfect dilemma. I was invited to meet two colleagues there on Monday. It was mediocre, and my older for a malted came out as a milkshake. My dilemma is that is it almost exactly equidistant between the original Lebanese Taverna and the Arax Cafe. About 50 strides in either direction. So, I waste an opportunity of time, place and intake because two colleagues want to meet at the Lost Dog Cafe. What a waste....

It's like eating at Village Bistro and not tasting Ray's Hell-Burger...!

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And honestly, the style of pizza is more of my liking.

My Hubby's too. With the amazing neopolitan pizza choices around us, he would rather have this, I don't mind too much since it means I can eat pizza too, without being bad! He has very specific likes and dislikes and is really amazingly good at eating wherever I really want to go and trying new cuisine so I have to throw him a bone every now and then. (He did get a mug with "World's Best Husband" on it for a reason.)

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It's like eating at Village Bistro and not tasting Ray's Hell-Burger...!

But sometimes you don't want a hamburger! :)

That's the good thing about a lot of this area - you have diverse options in one small area. With Westover, I can get Lebanese Taverna, Ajax, or Lost Dog/Stray Cat....in the strip mall you mention, I can hit Guajillo, Village Bistro, or Ray's, or cross the street to the place-whose-name-I-forget.

I guess I'm like ktmoomau's husband. I like Neopolitan-style pizza enough, but it's not my day to day pizza. Honestly, I'm fairly tired of flatbreads and other sorts. I like thicker crusts. I'd kill for a non-Uno's deepdish!

(Just kidding about the killing. Maybe just maim.)

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I've had one too many skunked beers from this joint.

And again. This time a six-pack of Full Circle kolsch-style beer, with flakey-looking things floating around in the bottles. I tried contacting them on their website, but didn't see anywhere to write them (I wasn't going to say who I was, or ask for a refund; I merely wanted to let them know that their beer was defective).

Great selection, sure, but I've bought some seriously damaged six-packs here. If their build-out into the laundromat (and branch-out into the second location) doesn't solve their beer-storage problems, I'm going to lay into them. Please clean up after your expansion, my animal-loving friends.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Note to self: In the future, it's probably not a great idea to spend $4.29 on a 500 ml bottle of Pinkus Organic Url Pils - brewed unfiltered (and certified USDA Organic), imported from Germany via Merchant du Vin Corp, Tukwila, WA, and shipped to lay in state at its final resting place at Lost Dog Cafe - trying to expect some sort of "fresh, organic moment." Anyone doing a paper on "suspended colloids" need look no further than here.

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I really wanted to like this place, there are so few places in Mclean to get a good beer and sandwich and how can someone's heart not go out to a place that supports animal rescues, alas, after trying this place twice, i found that the beer on tap was pretty good, the sandwiches were awful and the pizza looked awful. Oh well, its just a short jaunt to Falls Church with so many good choices

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i found that the beer on tap was pretty good, the sandwiches were awful and the pizza looked awful.

May I add: the pizza is indeed awful. Sandwiches, fries and salads that our party had were dreadful. I also wanted to like the Dog. But two visits cured me of contemplating a return. The menu is a mile long with cutie-pie canine titles for basically the same dishes. Plus, the bad food ain't cheap. Even if it was cheaper, their pricing is small consolation considering what is plopped down in front of you.

Far better options elsewhere in the vicinity.

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Good Karma Comes Back To Bite Lost Dog

Last night, I ordered some carryout at Thai Noy which is right next door to Lost Dog Cafe in Westover. I went into Lost Dog Cafe, picked up a four-pack of German beer I hadn't seen before (Lammsbraí¼ Organic Pilsner, $11.49), then walked over and got my food at Thai Noy. As I was heading out, I put both bags in my right hand so I could grab the door handle. Unfortunately, the top portion of the four-pack was moist from humidity, and ripped during the maneuver, thus hurtling to the concrete floor. Three of the four bottles had broken, and there was a mini-flood. I was the last customer at Thai Noy, and the owner and another gentleman came over with a mop, reassuring me that it was not a big deal at all. I offered to help mop, but they wouldn't hear of it. (They are really very nice there.)

Well, one beer didn't seem like it would cut it, so I walked back over to Lost Dog Cafe, grabbed another four-pack (this time holding it from underneath), and went back up to the counter to see another cashier (there were several). "Those five?" she said. "Well," I explained, "I had just bought a four-back from the man down there," pointing to the previous cashier," and it ripped, so three out of the four bottles broke." "Oh!" she said, then removed one beer from the four-pack, put my unbroken bottle in, and handed it to me.

"Well, I'm going to pay for this," I said. She replied, "It's okay, we pay for our own broken beers." "Yes, but I was already out the door." "It's okay, it happens." Well, I was flabbergasted that they would do this - I took all the money I had - a five-dollar bill - and left it on the counter for the cashiers, thanking them profusely for their act of kindness. On the way out, I wished I'd had some more cash for the gentlemen at Thai Noy as well.

So thank you to both Lost Dog Cafe and Thai Noy for your actions last night! I hope both of you get business ten times over from the amount this cost you. Thank you very much, both of you!

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Twice recently, I've had to eat lunch while working (I often do that anyway, but twice recently, I've *had* to). My assistant was going to Lost Dog Cafe, and I asked for a veggie sandwich - something that would stem my looming hunger, but not bog me down. On each occasion, I ordered from a separate location of Lost Dog Cafe, but both times, I got the exact same sandwich, and the two sandwiches were indistinguishable, one from the other, despite having come from different locations.

The Veggie ($8.50) isn't going to win any awards, but it's a big, meaty-tasting sandwich that's big enough to stuff most any man, but since it's vegetarian, and without any nasty sauces, it leaves you light on your feet. It's a burly, warm piece of indestructible pita bread, folded around a well-stuffed core of hot vegetables: fresh zucchini, avocado (essential to any veggie sandwich), spinach, mushrooms (mushrooms give it the meaty taste), and melted provolone (which serves not only as heat insulation, but also as protection from spillage).

The sandwich needs no sauce, and you can taste all four of the vegetables very clearly. There are no surprises at all, and it tastes exactly like you might imagine - this is a workaday meal that you won't look back upon and crave, but it does its job very well, and that job is filling you up, being fairly healthy, and not weighing you down and forcing an afternoon nap. Lost Dog Cafe is a painfully mediocre deli chain, with meats that are of middling quality - it is for this very reason that a warmed-up vegetable sandwich is a great way to go here, and it makes perfect sense to get that sandwich on warm pita bread.

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Unfortunately, I've yet to find a pizza place that is "crave-worthy".

I find Lost Dog pizza a little crave-worthy.  Their toppings esp. the kalamata olives are fresh and tasty.  I used to order from them years ago and had a couple of bad pizzas in a row and quit going.  Recently, I wanted to order from Italian Store in Westover and their phone was out of order.  So I ordered from Lost Dog instead and found their pizza now to be better than Italian Store or Joe's Pizza and Pasta.  Plus you can get delivery from GrubHub; Italian Store doesn't deliver.

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I find Lost Dog pizza a little crave-worthy.  Their toppings esp. the kalamata olives are fresh and tasty.  I used to order from them years ago and had a couple of bad pizzas in a row and quit going.  Recently, I wanted to order from Italian Store in Westover and their phone was out of order.  So I ordered from Lost Dog instead and found their pizza now to be better than Italian Store or Joe's Pizza and Pasta.  Plus you can get delivery from GrubHub; Italian Store doesn't deliver.

I had sworn off of Lost Dog after of series of completely crappy meals.  Surprisingly, Lost Cat was better.  But maybe they've changed their pizza recipe because, seriously, it was awful a few years back.  I'll have to give it a shot.

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I had sworn off of Lost Dog after of series of completely crappy meals.  Surprisingly, Lost Cat was better.  But maybe they've changed their pizza recipe because, seriously, it was awful a few years back.  I'll have to give it a shot.

I had a Lost Dog pizza within the past two months - the first I've had in years - and I found it to be awful, as bad as any national chain.

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When I was in the hospital a month and a half ago for three weeks, I ordered GrubHub delivery from Lost Dog Cafe. Now keep in mind that prior I had been sustaining myself entirely on hospital food but I thought the baked ziti I ordered was quite good. Very homey, like something my grandma might have served for one of her Christmas feasts she did every year.

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I had a Lost Dog pizza within the past two months - the first I've had in years - and I found it to be awful, as bad as any national chain.

They may have a quality control issue.  The first 2 pies I ordered were great, although they messed up the toppings a little on the 2nd pie.  3rd pie was burnt and topping messed up.  Awful!  I complained and they gave me a credit for a pie.  However, I've had maybe 5 dine-in personal pizzas over the past year that were terrific (one as recently as this rainy Wednesday).  However, most of the dine-ins were at the Columbia Pike location.  BTW, it was on the strength of the dine-in personal pizzas that I ventured to order from them again after decades when the Italian Store phone was out of order.  My husband really likes them too and we never agree on pizza.  I like Pupatellas, Bronx Pizza, Wiseguy, Piola.  He doesn't like any of them and only tolerates Piola.  He likes Joe's Pizza and Sicilian Pizza (near Columbia Pike) but I don't.

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