Unfortunately, between the time I visited the Dog Pizzeria and the time this review was published, a fire destroyed the establishment.
According to news reports and The Hound’s Facebook page, they plan to reopen. Sincere support to all those affected by the fire.
Last year I made my first trip to Idaho. While many in-state travelers spend the winter in Sun Valley, my goal was a work conference in Sandpoint.
Sandpoint is a small town (population 8,000) in northern Idaho, about an hour’s drive from the Canadian border. The nearest airport is 90 minutes away in Spokane, Washington. In other words, it’s not a place you can walk through by accident. The first task after arriving in the city: to find a good pizza.
A little about the place
A little documentation of the city’s food scene—primarily Yelp and an article in Sunset Magazine (Where to go this weekend: Sandpoint, ID)—directed me to The Dog (202 North 1st Ave.). I showed up just before closing time on a Tuesday night (the bar closes at 8:30pm every night, and that speaks volumes for Sandpoint’s nightlife).
The few people left at the bar all seemed to know each other, which I found to be common in a town this size. The bar itself is decorated in a winter theme, skis and poles decorate the walls. Adding to the theme, there was a snowman’s foot on the ground (although it seemed like there was quite a lot of summer time outside).
In addition to a handful of local and draft beers, the bar offers a dozen cans and bottles of various alcohol. But I came here for the food. Especially for pizza (although there is a full menu with appetizers, salads and sandwiches).
There were nine specialty pizzas on the menu; each can be ordered in different sizes: small (10 inches), medium (12 inches), or large (16 inches). You can also specify your preferences (thin crust or gluten-free). If none of the signature pizzas appeal, you can also create your own version. There are 18 vegetables, 6 cheeses and 6 meats in addition to 5 sauces. If you choose 3 toppings and 3 sizes, then in general you can come up with a lot of pizzas. My group and I decided to keep it simple by ordering the pizza section of the menu with three different options. We got a Margherita pizza, a spicy Thai and a cheese pizza.
“Spicy Thai” pizza is not something I usually order. But someone in my group convinced me to try it. I am glad that I made this choice. It has tons of toppings that don’t seem to go together: peanut sauce, mozzarella, chicken, peanuts, jalapeños, cilantro, carrots, and Sriracha sauce. But this pizza was delicious. The next unexpected step. Mozzarella, which seemed to be completely out of place, so was not particularly noticeable. Instead, there was a palpable peanut sauce and shredded carrot that dominated every bite. This is the first time I have come across a pizza like this and I would recommend ordering it if you are visiting the Dog.
Of the other two pizzas, I thought the plain cheese pizza tasted better than the Margherita , mostly because I could have done without the tomato slices on the latter. The cheese pizza had just the right amount of crunch and all the right amount of sauce to pair perfectly with the local Idaho beer.
Sandpoint is not a bustling metropolis. But even the smallest towns need a reliable pizza place to grab a pizza (or a slice). The dog even sells slices of cheese and pepperoni. And if you find yourself in Sandpoint, now you know where to go after a day on the slopes of nearby Schweizer Mountain.
(Mozzarella, tomato sauce)
(Thin crust, red sauce, sliced rum tomato, basil leaves, mozzarella, topped with fresh chopped basil)
(Thai peanut sauce, shredded mozzarella, fried chicken, roasted peanuts, jalapeños, topped with cilantro, grated carrots and Sriracha sauce)