What do you get when you cross an all-girl band from NYC, a beat-up old garage on Main Street and a wayward Chihuahua named Clarese? Not exactly what you’d expect, though this mish-mash is what inspired the renowned Lost Dog Café, located at 222 Water St. in Binghamton. Founders Marie McKenna and Elizabeth Hughes have combined their love of good music, great food and the relaxed cafe atmosphere to bring this refreshingly eccentric eatery to life.
Lost Dog’s menu features a unique blend of cuisines, drawing inspiration from Europe, Asia and the Americas, with plenty of gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and allergy-friendly options so you don’t need to worry about making any substitutions or sacrifices. And for those of you who are super health-conscious: LDC takes care in using fresh, natural ingredients with absolutely no trans fat. Knowing that bit of info makes their mac n’ cheese taste oh-so-much better (aside from the fact that your taste buds have probably become accustomed to Easy Mac by now).
Lost Dog Café is extremely versatile as far as restaurants go: you can stop in for a quick coffee, get a drink and chill at the bar for a while, enjoy a tasty sandwich at lunch, or bring your friends and family in for a nice sit-down dinner. The Café itself is pretty spacious, and the Lost Dog Lounge offers plenty of hang-out room if you feel like bringing a large group of people. There are a variety of delicious appetizers for you to try, like Spicy Hummus Nosh served with toasted pita or crispy tempura-style Bangkok Shrimp. Your vegan friend will love the Quinoa Roasted Vegetable Salad, and the signature Rigatoni Ala Vodka has worked up a reputation as one of the tastiest pasta dishes in all of Binghamton. Finish up with a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie for dessert — delicious! Wait, it gets even better.
LDC has announced its participation in Binghamton’s upcoming restaurant week, which will run from Sept. 18-27, which means great food at great prices for a great cause! The Lost Dog Café will be offering special three-course lunch and dinner menus fixed at $10 and $20, respectively. You’ll get to choose an appetizer, entrée and dessert from a selection of Lost Dog favorites, including the Dog House Salad and (of course) the infamous Rigatoni Ala Vodka. As you chow down on Chicken Pot Pie and Boston Crème Cupcakes, you can take some extra satisfaction in knowing your money will be going towards a good cause: a portion of all restaurant week menu sales will go to C.H.O.W. to help feed the hungry in our community.
“It makes sense that restaurants will be the ones helping the community food pantry,” said McKenna, who is also a project leader for Restaurant Week. “With the economy being so rough, we’re really glad to be raising some money so that local families can have a nice Thanksgiving and holiday season. We expect to be really busy this week.”
Lost Dog Café is known for bringing in all sorts of live music acts, and restaurant week is no exception. They started off the week with an open mic jazz night with Miles Ahead on Sept. 19 and an evening of jazz with Enerjee! on Sept. 20. If you’re feeling edgy and in the mood for darkwave jazz, check out Jaggery on Sept. 25.
Remember, restaurant week only comes twice a year in Binghamton. You’d be crazy not to take advantage of this delicious opportunity, so grab your friends, get out there, support our community, and most importantly, eat!
Lost Dog Café is open Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner. For more information on LDC, visit www.lostdogcafe.net or call (607) 771-6063. For more information about Binghamton Restaurant Week menus, prices and participating restaurants, visit the Binghamton Restaurant Week website. Also make sure to Like restaurant week on Facebook.