Lost Dog Cafe, North Arlington and South Arlington

(See the Jan 30, 2011 review here.)

Twice recently, I’ve had to eat lunch while working (I often do that anyway, but twice recently, I’ve *had* to). My assistant was going to Lost Dog Cafe, and I asked for a veggie sandwich – something that would stem my looming hunger, but not bog me down. On each occasion, I ordered from a separate location of Lost Dog Cafe, but both times, I got the exact same sandwich, and the two sandwiches were indistinguishable, one from the other, despite having come from different locations.

The Veggie ($8.50) isn’t going to win any awards, but it’s a big, meaty-tasting sandwich that’s big enough to stuff most any man, but since it’s vegetarian, and without any nasty sauces, it leaves you light on your feet. It’s a burly, warm piece of indestructible pita bread, folded around a well-stuffed core of hot vegetables: fresh zucchini, avocado (essential to any veggie sandwich), spinach, mushrooms (mushrooms give it the meaty taste), and melted provolone (which serves not only as heat insulation, but also as protection from spillage).

The sandwich needs no sauce, and you can taste all four of the vegetables very clearly. There are no surprises at all, and it tastes exactly like you might imagine – this is a workaday meal that you won’t look back upon and crave, but it does its job very well, and that job is filling you up, being fairly healthy, and not weighing you down and forcing an afternoon nap. Lost Dog Cafe is a painfully mediocre deli chain, with meats that are of middling quality – it is for this very reason that a warmed-up vegetable sandwich is a great way to go here, and it makes perfect sense to get that sandwich on warm pita bread.

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