About two months back, Lone Star Taco Bar spun off from the adjacent Deep Ellum on Cambridge Street in Allston. Boston had tacos, and Boston had bars, but it didn't exactly have a taco bar until Lone Star came on the scene. The restaurant has received equal attention for both halves of its identity, garnering praise for both tacos and drinks, especially those made with Lone Star's patron spirit, tequila. Let's take a look at the first few months of feedback.
The Good News: "I was right to have such high expectations," says Confessions of a Chocoholic. "The pork carnitas were the best I’ve ever had," says the blog, lauding the novel texture of the meat: "not shredded, not cubed, not braised to a drab consistency." Also praised: the fish tacos, Dallas spicy beef tacos, grilled corn with cotija cheese and chili lime aioli as well as the in-house hot sauce, including sweet potato-habanero and jalapeno. [Confessions of a Chocoholic]
More Good News: Heart n' Stomach calls Lone Star "the closest thing to an Austin taco bar (that I can imagine) right here in Boston’s rat city." Because Lone Star serves its full menu all day, the blog declares it "the ideal brunch spot" thanks to dishes that work with any meal like huevos rancheros, grilled avocado with griddled queso and a chicken ranchero tostada. Of the simplified offerings, the bartender says "at night this place is a margarita factory, so we didn’t want the menu too complicated." [Heart n' Stomach]
The Bad News: Two different comments on a Chowhound thread blame Lone Star for sauce that's too sweet, especially on the fish tacos. "We both found the tacos to be overly sweet" says viperlush, who adds that "although the torillas [sic] tasted good they fell apart." StriperGuys says the fish taco "was smothered in some disgusting sweet sauce that is not at all correct for a Baja fish taco." He declares the dish to be "barely edible" and says he wishes he hadn't eaten it. [CH]
The Worse News: Though Lone Star maintains four stars on Yelp at the time of this post, of course there are the haters. A frequent complaint among Yelpers is with the value of the tacos here. "We weren't expecting the tiny size" says Julie R. "The tacos are $4 and they're only $2.75 at Dorado down the street" says Rachel D. Matt T. goes one step further: "These are mini-tacos at best, and paying $12 for three of them feels like the equivalent of being mounted on a pinball machine and passed around a room." Meredith D. says "Why did I pay $4 for 3 inch tacos? They were TINY." She adds: "Little baby tacos," and encourages you to look at your index finger to gauge their diameter.
The Great News: Cassandry Landry reviews Lone Star for the Boston Phoenix's On the Cheap Column, and declares "I couldn't help feeling like I was part of something revolutionary, but then, a spectacular meal can do that, can't it?" Landry has equal praise for drinks such as Agua de Tamarindo, which she describes as "a study in sensuality and spice, with fragrant orange and just a hint of lime playing off the Añejo tequila, while the tamarind syrup adds a layer of nectar that warms on the way down." Tacos are a hit, as are sides, especially "just-fried handmade tortilla chips with a made-to-order guacamole so tangy and clean, it's shocking." The booths are "cozy," the staff are "good humored."
The Twitter News: Local DJ @toddmacleod tweets "tip top" and Boston Food Bloggers member @Jena_Lynn writes "Mexican heaven." In a similar vein, @themarissagreen says "Golden. Hidden treasure" and the bar's sweet corn earns a #numnum from illustrator @thumbsoneill. [Twitter]