Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Allston's Hidden Slice of Texas

You wouldn't guess it by the dark, unmarked exterior, but Lone Star Taco Bar is a vibrant, cozy place to warm up with gourmet tacos and Mexican beer. Everything about it echoes Deep Ellum - they're both owned by the same people - to the point that if feels like you're in some kind of Texan parallel universe next to its sister bar. And I have just as many good things to say about Lone Star as Deep Ellum.

It barely seems possible, but Lone Star is a little smaller than Deep Ellum, but in a cozy way. The old cowboy westerns playing on a TV above the bar, mounted bison head, and dim lighting (at least when we went around 9PM last Thursday) made you feel like you may have just stepped into Texas. Not a cheesy Hollywood version of Texas, but a cool, slightly upscale version where hipsters go for conversation and delicious food. There must be hipsters in Texas, right?

Lone Star was crowded when we got there, so we grabbed the last two seats at the bar, but by 10 it had nearly emptied out and we could hear the music again. The music was chill, but probably the only piece of the puzzle that didn't fit the authentic Texas feeling.

I couldn't resist trying the Chelado - the Pacifico on draft mixed with lime juice over ice with a salted rim. It managed to taste refreshing but not watered down at all. Brittany tried the Chica Facil (haha), a delicious blend of tequila, aperol, lime, agave, and orange bitters.

Baja Fish and Carnitas Pork Tacos
Then we moved on to the difficult food decision - everything on the taco menu looked great, but we could only eat so much (especially since I had already technically had dinner). I got the Baja Fish of the Day while Brittany chose the Carnitas Pork and the Grilled Avocado with Griddled Queso. She had been to Lone Star before so she prepared me for how great they would be, but I was still in awe. The balance of hot/cold, sweet/savory in my fish taco was exactly right.

Brittany and I followed up our first drinks with Pacifico on tap - only $4 for a pint of a decent Mexican beer.

It was a great place to catch up and adventure into some unique TexMex flavors. The Lone Star bartenders were great, too - attentive and clearly skilled at their job.

Although the tacos were gourmet, we were a little disappointed to learn after eating from one of our bartenders that the real deal at Lone Star are the tostadas: only $5 for a heaping pile of delicious ingredients. Not as gourmet or as meticulously made as the tacos, which are in a class of their own, but still delicious and at a great price.

I feel like I say this about most bars I visit... but I'll definitely be going back.

P.S. For those keeping track, no, we didn't go to jm Curley like we promised in our last blog post. By the time Brittany was done with classes and work on her long-day Thursday, we went for something closer to home. But jm Curley is still on the to-do list!

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