Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lost Dog Cafe & Gourmet Pizza Deli -- McLean, Va.

Our daughter Molly loves books. She also loves dogs. One of her favorite books is "Doggies" by Sandra Boynton. When we get to the page that consists of "9 dogs on a moonlit night," Molly joins in with a "Howwwwwlllllllllll." This little girl is cute, I'm tellin' ya.

So naturally Liza and I had to take Molly to the Lost Dog Cafe.

Now we had already reviewed the Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington back in February 2009. This was before Molly was born, though. So we decided to try the relatively new Lost Dog Cafe in McLean. The restaurant is part of a strip mall that includes a monstrous Safeway.

Perhaps the best thing about the Lost Dog Cafes (there are three in the D.C. area now) is the decor. The McLean store had colorful murals of a town of dogs adorning its walls. It's a friendly, welcoming environment. (Maybe it was the refrigerators full of beer nearby the front entrance?) The young hostess and waitress were accommodating, finding us a table and getting Molly a high chair.

Liza and I put an order in for a 14-inch "Rin Tin Tin Pie." I know, I know, this is the same pizza we ordered at the Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington. What can I say, variety is not our strong suit. (Honestly, we just forgot what we ordered the last time). And, well, the "Rin Tin Tin Pie" just sounds tasty, with its mushrooms, spinach, red onions, red peppers topped with fresh mozzarella and basil on a wheat pizza crust. It's pretty much everything we like on a pizza.

We were served a 6-slice pizza (the waitress said it would be 8 slices...hmmm). Remembering that pizza droop was our primary issue with the Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington, Liza and I were expecting a messy dinner. To our surprise, there was minimal droop. The pizza held together fairly well despite the generous toppings. Progress!

We were still not all that impressed with the homemade marinara sauce, though. Once again it lacked a strong, unique flavor. On my slices, I could taste the red onions -- or maybe it was the red peppers? -- more than the sauce.

I thought the mushrooms tasted excellent, though. We gave one to Molly, but she spit it out. Oh well.

The Lost Dog Cafes seem to be a great environment, even for kids, and the pizza is decent enough but it's one woof short of greatness.

Gary's Rating: 3 stars
Liza's Rating: 3 stars
Molly's Rating: I want a Cruncher!

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