DISH OF THE MONTH: LOST DOG CAFE

What if we told you that you could get a delicious pizza with an ice cold beer, and save the lives of homeless dogs and cats all at one time? Sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, you can thank us later because we found you a restaurant where you can do just that right here in Alexandria, VA. This month’s dish of the month comes from Lost Dog Café on North Henry Street, a gourmet pizza deli with a philanthropic twist, and we think that’s a concept we (and our residents)  can get behind! We had the chance to catch up with Lost Dog Café general manager, Austin Garcia, to chat about the Café and what makes it so special. Read on to find out…

Can you tell us about the history of Lost Dog Café? For example, how long have you been in business?  Do you have any other restaurant locations?

Lost Dog Café began in a tiny storefront space in Arlington’s Westover neighborhood in 1985, as a small unassuming wine, beer, and cheese shop. Owners Ross Underwood and Pam McAlwee started small, dreamed big and worked countless long hours until things slowly fell into place as the Lost Dog Café, a Northern Virginia destination well known for its great food and extensive beer selection. Lifelong animal lovers, Ross & Pam started rescuing dogs early in their business career. It began with a few dogs being rescued from local shelters. Employees at the Café were soon fielding calls from dog adopters in between orders without missing a beat; and the rescue mission became part of the Lost Dog culture. In 2009, Lost Dog Café opened a second location on Columbia Pike and soon followed with McLean (2011), Dunn Loring (2013), and Alexandria (2015).  All Lost Dog Café locations are owned and operated by members of the Lost Dog Café family who are well versed and committed to carry on Ross and Pam’s dedication to good food, good beer, great customer service, and a deep-rooted love for animals that embody the Lost Dog Café way.

What is your favorite part about working at Lost Dog Café?

There are many things I love about my position here at Lost Dog Café, one of them is meeting new patrons every day. The look on a new customer’s face when they see our massive menu for the first time is priceless.

What is one of your favorite menu items?

There are a ton of my personal favorites, but if I had to only pick one item from our sandwich menu and one from our pizza menu, it would be the #32 Falcon and the Pit Bull Pie.

It looks like there are tons of options for beer and wine on your menu, do you have any recommendations?

It’s really hard for me to recommend a single item from our beer and wine menu, the reason being is that we are constantly bringing in new and exciting items. Every two weeks we feature a different brewery, and we bring in at least 6 beers they have to offer.  It’s been a huge success! Generally, a representative from the brewery comes out on the launch night. The brewery representative brings key chains, stickers, and sometimes even t-shirts for the first few customers that buy one of the featured beers. I would recommend following us on Facebook, Untappd or Beer Menus to stay up to date with our beer and wine menu as well as current and upcoming events.  

What do customers love about Lost Dog Café?

Customer’s love knowing that they are dining for a great cause right here in Virgina. A lot of our patrons have actually rescued dogs from LDCRF.

Can you tell us about the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation?

Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation was founded in 2001 to help continue and expand the rescue efforts of the original Lost Dog Café.The Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation (LDCRF), a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation devoted to helping homeless dogs and cats find forever homes. Today, LDCRF finds homes for 2,000+ animals per year and estimates more than 30,000 lives have been saved since its inception. The foundation’s success is due in no small part to the continued support and growth of the Lost Dog Café restaurants and its loyal customers.

Is there anything else you want the community at e-lofts to know about Lost Dog Café?

Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company is joining us as our Brewery of the Week and we’re launching with a bang on October 5th. We’re releasing our limited edition collaboration, Lost Dog Rescue Ale as part of the event! Brewed to celebrate our partners at Lost Dog & Cat Rescue foundation this beer will be exclusive to Lost Dog Café locations and 100% of the profits for the launch weekend will go to LDCRF, with $2 from every pint sold until its gone also being donated.

SEPTEMBER DISH OF THE MONTH: THE LOLA LAB

Everything at Lost Dog Café sounds so delicious, but we asked them to pick just one menu item to be featured as our dish of the month. Without further ado, the September dish of the month is the #48 Lola Lab. Austin describes this dish as, “Served on a Pita with black bean dip, melted cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, then topped with fresh shredded lettuce, pico de gallo and avocado. This one is super tasty and easy to make at home.” It’s making us hungry just thinking about it!

If you try Lost Dog Café be sure to tell us your thoughts below. What’s your favorite gourmet pizza? Visit them at 808 N Henry St, Alexandria VA, 22314 and we’re sure it’ll be impossible to pick just one! Check them out on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with their ever changing beer lineup, and hey! Head on over the weekend of October 5th to try their limited edition Lost Dog Rescue Ale. A few brews for a good cause never hurt anyone right?