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Restaurant Review: The Lost Dog Cafe, McLean, VA

Updated on February 1, 2013

My teenage son and I just came back from lunch at the Lost Dog Cafe in McLean, Virginia.

The Lost Dog Cafe is located in the Safeway Shopping Center, on Anderson Road in McLean (a suburb of Washington, D.C.). The restaurant is off of the main drag, but is convenient to major arteries, and will be within walking distance of the new Tysons Corner metro station, when it opens in 2013.

The McLean location is one of three Lost Dog Cafes in the area. The owners, in keeping with the diner's name, are dedicated to rescuing and placing lost dogs in the area.

The cafe in McLean is cheery, with brightly-colored dog-themed graphics on the walls. Walking in, we were immediately greeted at the door. The entry is lined with cases, where unique beers are offered for sale. There is a good sized bar, backed, again, by an amazing assortment of beers.

In spite of the beer bottles, the place (at least at lunchtime) had an amicable feel, and would be appropriate for children as well as adults.

In the dining area, we found that the tables were well placed: it's a small cafe, yet we felt that we had plenty of space at our table.

The menu is extensive. Apparently, the Lost Dog is famous for its pizzas, but the offerings include a wide range of sandwiches, salads and entrees as well. The menu can be previewed online if desired.

It took us a while to study the menus. The waiter checked back, but didn't rush us. My son and I both ended up choosing specialty sandwiches (most of which had pooch-themed names): my son chose The Muttly, a "warm pita stuffed with grilled chicken breast, pesto, tomatoes, spinach, melted provolone cheese and basil." I selected The Fat Molly, described as "roasted red peppers, spinach and grilled chicken topped with mozzarella, feta and basil in a pita." We opted to split an order of the Italian Fries.

Our lunch arrived in short order. The presentation was excellent (good color!); the sandwiches arrived in paper-lined plastic baskets, and our healthy portion of fries was placed in the middle of our table for sharing. Without request, the waiter brought ketchup, and two extra plates.

Our sandwiches were very good; the Italian Fries were crispy waffle fries, lightly seasoned and hot. Portions were generous -- we even had a bit to bring home. My son and I both agreed that we were lucky to have found the Lost Dog Cafe, and we're anxious to go back and try some of the other menu options.

We were also glad that we had arrived on the early side for a Friday lunch. We got there around 11:45, and had no trouble getting a table. By 12:15, all the tables were full and there were people waiting (many of the lunch customers appeared to be local business people).

We were delighted with the atmosphere, the food and the friendly service. We would recommend this cafe to any of our friends.

It's worthy to note, that the website also links to the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation.

The Lost Dog is open for both lunch and dinner, and also offers takeout and delivery service.

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