Tacos to the South – Pizza to the North!
This month we took a little bit different approach to this column. Instead of taking on a “white table cloth” approach we decided to introduce a couple of new places that have good eats and good prices in a casual atmosphere. Both restaurants have migrated to Old Town from across the 14th Street Bridge in D.C. Lost Dog Café and District Taco both opened their doors in last few months and are off on a good run.
To the South
District Taco (DT) – of the popular food truck fame – opened in the south end of Old Town on Washington Street (former Chicken Out space) and are serving some of the best Mexican food in the area. While several other restaurants boast serving “Mexican” food, I have found that it usually is a mix of all sorts of south of the border cuisines. This isn’t true of District Taco, they serve traditional Yucatan style food. I have dined “in” and carried “out” and everything has exceeded my expectations. They say that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and I am sure you will agree from the photos accompanying this write up. The condiments alone are impressive. The food screams FRESH and the flavors are amazing. You can tell that the fare is made fresh every day. The price is right as well – not anything over $8 in this place. My favorite is the 3 taco combinations but my friend is partial to the Burrito Mojado (black beans, rice, cheese, Salsa de Chile, sour cream and your choice of protein and toppings). I haven’t tried the breakfast fare yet but I can only imagine that consuming a taco, burrito or the huevos rancheros will definitely be a great start to your day. They don’t serve beer, wine or cocktails but they have a fabulous choice of specialty sodas in over 10 flavors as well as the normal colas, etc. My favorite is black cherry! If you haven’t had the chance to dine here, put it on your bucket list. As they say at DT, “Orale!” which roughly translates to “Right On!”
701 South Washington Street
Mon – Sun: 7 am – 10 pm
To the North
The Lost Dog Café – of Gourmet Pizza Deli fame in Arlington – opened in the north end of town on Henry Street a month or so ago. They are located on the street level of the new Belle Pre apartment building right on the corner Henry and Belle Pre Way. This store is the fifth location to open in the metro area. I never knew what the Lost Dog was all about until they opened here in Old Town but several of my foodie friends who are pizza and sandwich experts had been waxing poetic about it when we heard they were coming to town. The menu boasts 53 (ask why the number 49 is left off the menu when you stop in) sandwiches alone. All of which run in the $8.50-$9.50 price range. The menu is pretty extensive. I ordered the “Grownup Grilled Cheese” and Bob had the “El Bandito”. Both are tagged as favorites on the menu and both were very tasty and very filling. There are 31 (if I counted correctly) pizzas to choose from and you have the option to “build your own”. Prices range from $10.95 to $21.95 depending on size and ingredients. They also have a nice selection of appetizers, soups, salads, pastas, milk shakes, floats and desserts. Check the menu out online!
On our first foray into the café we shared an appetizer and had a few glasses of wine on our way to another restaurant opening. We had a bit more time when we had our sandwiches and beer so got to know a little more about their mission. Lost Dog is well known as a place to get great food at a great price, and according to their mission statement, the café also serves up a hefty slice of compassion with each pizza. Since 2001, Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation has saved the lives of over 18,000 dogs and cats, helping them connect with loving families and forever homes. Each location donates portions of sales proceeds to the rescue effort. The Old Town location donates the proceeds from several of their colorful t-shirts. Being animal lovers, this was a nice thing to know.
In addition to being good guys and serving good food, they also do a booming carry out business. The carry out section of the store has a vast selection of craft beer and 41 varieties of wine. Both beer and wine are available to purchase cold. This would be a great way to enjoy one of their gourmet pizzas without having to get dolled up to dine in, something I am anxiously waiting to do. I love good pizza at a good price and eating it while lounging in my sweats at home sounds like the thing to do.
As with District Taco, add Lost Dog to your bucket list if you haven’t already been.
Lost Dog Café
808 North Henry St.
Written by: Lani Gering