Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lost Dog Cafe & Gourmet Pizza Deli, Arlington

Liza wants a dog. She wants a little Pomeranian that can hop around and cuddle with her. Unfortunately, we have signed a lease that does not allow pets on the premises.

Liza is sad about this, so of course she turns to comfort food...Pizza!

Lazing on a Sunday afternoon, we decided to head out for a pie. Liza wanted to check out the Lost Dog Cafe & Gourmet Pizza Deli in Arlington. Woof!

Now the Lost Dog Cafe is part of a charming strip mall--is that an oxymoron?--that also includes a restaurant called the Stray Cat Cafe. Same owner? Based on the restaurants' web sites, I would say Ruff Ruff!

We walk in through the deli entrance and must wait 10 minutes for a table. Grrr...

As we wait, I check out the impressive beer inventory on hand. There are the regulars, of course. And there's Dogfish Head India Brown Ale and Flying Dog Tire Bite Golden Ale. And there's a great selection from overseas, including Ireland, Germany, England, Belgium and Italy. Woof!

Finally seated, we take note of the decor while our waitress--freshman year in college is my guess--takes the order from a twosome who were seated after us. We see artwork of--what else?--dogs all over the wall. It's appropriate, of course. But nowhere did I see the classic "Dogs Playing Poker." What's up with that? Howwwwl!

We perused the menu and liked the variety of pizzas available as well as the clever names. There's the Popeye Pie (with spinach), the Big Red Pie (with lots of sauce), the Pitbull Pie (with pastrami, salami, pepperoni and red onions) and the Cattle Dog Pie (with beef barbecue). Arf!

Time to order. I order a Sierra Nevada pale ale and Liza settles on a Merlot. We each get a salad as an appetizer. Then we opt to split a Rin Tin Tin Pie. This has marinara sauce with sliced portabella mushrooms, spinach, red onions, red peppers topped with fresh mozzarella and basil on a wheat pizza crust. Woof Woof!

The pizza arrives in due time, a 12-incher separated in six slices. Nice job on the presentation and the toppings appear spread evenly throughout the pie. Ruff!

But I could tell right away slices were going to droop. I had to eat the first 2-3 bites of the slice with my knife and fork. (Pizza is meant to be eaten by hand, people!) I understand this can happen when there's marinara sauce and multiple toppings, but I expect pizza chefs to shrug that off and cook it well enough to minimize the droop. (We saw some other pies at adjacent tables that didn't have the dreaded droop, but they were mostly cheese pizzas.) Growl!

How about the flavor? The "homemade sauce" was tasty but not anything to bark about. Lots of mozzarella piled on--that's fine, but it may have added to the droopiness factor. I liked the spinach and mushroom flavor, but couldn't really taste the red peppers. Grr...

Bonus points go to Lost Dog Cafe for helping with pet rescue and linking to pet adoption services on their web site. Ruff Ruff!

In the end, we decided this pizza is better than eating a dog bone but not quite worth the wag of a tail.

Gary's rating: 2.5 Stars
Liza's rating: 2.5 Stars

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