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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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Last time I was at Lost Dog I got their new(-ish) Pitbull Pie - salami, ham, pepperoni, onions, and jalapenos with spicy tomato sauce and cheese. Washed down with a draft double IPA it was very tasty.

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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...

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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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Errr, you are right, they were luxury apartments when I looked there - I have a bad habit of using "condo" and "apartment" interchangeably.

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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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The original Lost Dog Cafe will be "closing for renovations" :rolleyes: for a month, starting sometime in August. The beer selection is already beginning to dwindle, so act accordingly.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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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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