Lost Dog Cafe is a staple in the Binghamton area. Besides passing by it whenever I am Downtown, the first time I heard about Lost Dog was when my friend showed me a photo on Instagram of Drake Bell eating there. I didn’t know what Drake Bell was doing in Binghamton, but if Lost Dog was good enough for him, it was good enough for me. Their Restaurant Week menu offers lunch for a fixed price of $12 and dinner for $20.
Topped with multicolored lanterns, warm lights and seats just below street level, the comfy and casual atmosphere of the restaurant brightens up your day the second you step in. My photographer, Rose, and I sat in for dinner, which included an appetizer, a main dish and dessert.
For the appetizer, Rose got the spinach artichoke dip while I tried the chipotle hummus. The dip came with multicolored tortilla chips, but the hummus came with only four pieces of pita bread, which I was a little disappointed about, as there ended up being so much hummus left over. Luckily for me, Rose let me steal some of her chips. Both dips were creamy and filling, with the chipotle hummus having a tangy kick to it. The spinach artichoke dip had pieces of artichoke and spinach in it, which added nicely to the smooth texture.
Every local knows their rigatoni a la vodka is to die for, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and order the cast iron beef skillet filet. The skillet came to the table still sizzling, but the meat was absolutely to die for. The sauce wasn’t anything too special, but the beef just melted right in my mouth. Paired with mashed potatoes and grilled zucchini, the dish warmed my heart and filled my stomach. I couldn’t finish it because of how filling the starter dips were, but I am looking forward to eating it again soon. Rose got a fall harvest bowl with tempeh, a great option for all the vegetarians out there. The tempeh was marinated in teriyaki sauce and placed on top of a bowl of rice with roasted butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, fennel and red onion. While noting that the rice was dry, she exclaimed, “They made the Brussels sprouts taste so good. They’re not supposed to!”
By the time dessert came, we were full to the brim but knew we had to make room and get the most out of the experience. Our server brought us one of each dessert on the menu, which included the awesome chocolate cake, pumpkin pecan praline ice cream and maple cake. Biting into each one was like entering a sugary wonderland. The chocolate cake, topped with chocolate syrup and whipped cream, was simple yet enjoyable. The pumpkin pecan praline ice cream was the perfect introduction to fall, tasting like a cold pumpkin spiced latte and topped with a waffle cone covered in powdered sugar. It was also the only dessert that was not overwhelmingly sweet, which is more in line with my tastes. The maple cake, a sponge cake doused in maple syrup made in New York state, tasted just like a pancake. It was by far the sweetest option on the menu.
With the weather getting colder, the coziness of Lost Dog Cafe becomes more and more inviting as the school year goes on. Come here to escape your work for an hour or two and treat your stomach to some of the best Binghamton has to offer.