Lone Star Taco Bar

Lone Star Taco Bar embodies the best of Allston, a Boston neighborhood that I have complicated feelings about. The small Tex-Mex restaurant is affordable without being cheap, desirable without being fancy, urban-trendy with an effortlessly hip vibe that usually annoys me, but in this case I find justified by the awesome food. Most of the diners appear to fit squarely into the 20-something college-kid crowd that overwhelms the ever-gentrifying neighborhood, yet thankfully, the obnoxiously loud partiers don’t represent. And even in the parking desert that is Allston and Brighton, I have *always* been able to snag that very last parking space nearby, which is a sign from above that I am supposed to be eating this food.

The exterior of Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston is marked with a lone star.
The exterior of Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston is marked with a lone star.

The Lone Star team has opened a second location in East Cambridge to positive reviews. I can’t vouch for that particular location since I haven’t been. But I can vouch for Deep Ellum, Lone Star’s sibling restaurant, located next door to its Allston location. (If you ask, the Deep Ellum bartenders will get creative with the ginger syrup and make you a splendid mocktail so you can fit in while your Globe coworkers drink and gripe about the state of journalism.)

But I digress.

First on your agenda at Lone Star should be grilled “street corn” i.e. corn-on-the-cob made magical. For Lone Star’s take on the Mexican street food known as elote, sweetcorn is heaped with chili-lime aioli and dusted with a handful of cotija, a salty, crumbly Mexican cheese. At three sizable half-cobs, this serves three people nicely for appetizers.

Version 3
Grilled street corn ($7) at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston.

I have not found a way to eat the street corn without getting the tangy-spicy-unctuous aioli all over my fingers and face, but some foods are worth getting messy for. This is one of them. (Mei Mei’s Double Awesome is another, but that’s a whole separate blog post.) And I will admit that sometimes, after I have devoured every last kernel of corn from the cob, I just take a spoonful of whatever aioli remains and eat it straight.

Lone Star serves brunch every day until 4 p.m. While not quite as awesome as serving brunch all-day-every-day, I think we can all agree that this is still awesome.

Lone Star Taco Bar’s jalapeño corncake ($5).
The jalapeño corncake ($5) at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston.

The jalapeño corncakes come with butter and real maple syrup. (It’s a shame that I have to specify real vs. fake for maple syrup, but many a restaurant has ruined an otherwise pleasant breakfast with maple-ish sludge, so I try to give credit where credit is due.)  There is a little inconsistency in the pancakes—some bites are much spicier than others—but if you’re okay with that element of surprise, these are a great option to get your breakfast carb fix. They’re not too light and not too dense.

Lone Star Taco Bar’s ceviche changes daily. This particularly preparation starred tuna, avocado, and mango.
Lone Star Taco Bar’s ceviche changes daily. This particular preparation starred tuna, avocado, and mango.
The carnitas taco ($4) with salsa verde, and the Baja fish taco ($4) with pickled slaw and mango-chili aioli, at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston.
The carnitas taco ($4) with salsa verde, and the Baja fish taco ($4) with pickled slaw and mango-chili aioli, at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston.

As good as the appetizers are, the tacos are where it’s at—true to the restaurant’s name—and more than reasonably priced for the quality. The carnitas (confit pork) is perfection: tender but slightly crispy. The Baja fish taco is a close second for me, topped with sweet-and-spicy mango-chili aioli and pickled cabbage that adds a hint of vinegar.

The chicken ranchero tostada, with ranchero-braised chicken, Napa cabbage, and cream, at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston.
The chicken ranchero tostada ($6.50), with ranchero-braised chicken, Napa cabbage, and cream, at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston.

I didn’t realize that the nachos don’t come with meat unless you ask, so I improvised by dumping the excess braised chicken from the tostada onto the nachos. The result is a hot and delicious mess.

“Victory Club” nachos ($7) at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston.
“Victory Club” nachos ($7) at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston.

There is a single dessert on the menu: flan. I’m not a huge fan of flan in general, so I’d probably opt to stuff myself with another taco (CARNITAS PLEASE), but I think any flan enthusiast quite enjoy this as a finale.

Flan ($5) at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston.
Flan ($5) at Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston.

I haven’t been to Texas or Mexico, so I can’t speak to the authenticity of Lone Star Taco Bar’s Tex-Mex cuisine. However, I’ve eaten my weight in Tex-Mex food in the Boston area a dozen times over, and so I think I have some standing to say that Lone Star Taco Bar really is special. Apartment listings in Allston should list their proximity to this restaurant. In a neighborhood known for affordable food, it stands out for quality.

————————————————————————————————————
INFORMATION as of December 2016
————————————————————————————————————

Official Website // Facebook // Twitter: @LoneStarAllston // Instagram: @LoneStarAllston

Address & Phone — Allston
479 Cambridge St.
Boston, MA 02134
617.782.TACO

Address & Phone — Cambridge
635 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, MA 02141
857.285.6179

Lone Star Taco Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

2 thoughts on “Lone Star Taco Bar

  1. Sounds delicious and the aioli sounds wonderful. Pictures are excellent! Great review-makes me want to go! (Also I’m a flan fan.)

  2. How wonderful it all seems. I wish I lived in Boston–I’d trot around to all your “finds” and indulge. I may make the corn cakes with the Mexican pepper flavoring and douse the REAL maple syrup (the ONLY kind I use) over my attempt. Loved the blog–but why wouldn’t I, since I know the writer (and where she gets her talent–haha)–Marion, the Elder

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s