Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Lone Star Taco Bar, Allston, MA

It doesn't seem like all that long ago when I was consistently complaining about the lack of good Mexican food here in Boston.  I remember it well- I believe it was a year ago.  I'm not sure what happened in that time, but all of a sudden restaurateurs got the message and casual taco places to sit down authentic Mexican eateries have been popping up all over the city. The latest to open it's doors is Lone Star, a tiny spot adjoining Deep Ellum in Allston.  They seem to share a kitchen, and Lone Star definitely seems to pilfer some of Deep Ellum's beers, but otherwise, the concentration of the two spots couldn't be more different.  Deep Ellum rests comfortably on its laurels of finely crafted cocktails accompanying re born American foods.  Lone Star is serving Mexican street food, tacos and torta's, corn on the cob and hot crisp chips, with a heavy concentration on tequila's. 

I headed over to check out Lone Star with a friend who gets a little shout out here.  Chris was my co- RA (oh yes I was an RA in college- doesn't that tell you more than you need to know about me?) my senior year of college.   We bonded over our "relaxed" methods of leading our floor, and he dealt with my severe senior slump.  Since then Chris has traveled the world, from Prague to Shanghai and is finally back in Boston now.  Here's the true plug- Chris has a blog of his own, and is an incredibly talented writer-check him out: http://baoziandthebund.tumblr.com/

We settled into a booth in Lone Star and placed our order- a serving of their house made to order Guacamole and a couple of tacos- the Carnitas Pork (confit pork shoulder, salsa verde, cilantro, and queso fresco) and the Grilled Avocado With Griddled Queso Or Braised Tofu (salsa verde and corn relish) for me.  The guacamole arrived first.  It was served in a large mortar, and was bedecked with small wedges of lime.  The guacamole itself contained large pieces of fresh avocado and a hint of onion from some scallions found peppered throughout.  The surprising component to this guacamole however was how creamy it was.  Of course the natural properties of avocados are often described as "creamy" and they are often used as a cooling agent in spicy dishes because of this attribute.  Here though, at Lone Star, it appeared that some sort of additional cream was added.  It appeared to be sour cream to me, but I'm willing to be wrong there.  The outcome was a bit diluted in terms of the avocado flavor, and a much denser dip all around.  I would have been thrilled with a bit more lime juice or the addition of a chili pepper perhaps to break up the subtle monotony of the dish.  The chips however were hot and fresh and readily refilled.

I began with the Carnitas Pork taco- a small mound of shredded pork piled into a fresh tortilla, layered on top of salsa verde and showered with cilantro and queso fresco.  The flavors here were spot on- the fatty meat was cut nicely with the acidity and heat of the salsa verde, with the freshness of the cilantro and the salty cheese punching up the profile.  Everything taste fresh, with good texture contrasts and all around a delicious taco.  

I opted for the griddled queso with my avocado taco.  I love grilled cheeses- there is something about the mix of the smoke from the grill combined with the salty creaminess of the cheese that just makes for a perfect combination.  Here they executed that perfectly, and the thick slices of avocado even proudly displayed prominent grill marks.  The corn salsa added nice textural contrast, though I found the salsa itself to be far too sweet for my liking.

Overall I really enjoyed my experience at Lone Star.  It was clear that the ingredients were fresh and thoughtfully prepared.  The dishes held authentic flavors and were artfully presented.  This is a great addition to the Allston neighborhood, an area that is truly blossoming in the world of good eats.       

5 comments:

In and Around Town said...

I went there for the first time recently and loved it!

Colleen @ Culinary Colleen said...

I really need to make it out there. Something about summer makes me crave Mexican food...

Megan said...

The carnitas taco sounds great, but I would be so upset by diluted guacamole. Can't stand when places pad it. I just want my avocado. :) That said, I'll probably still give it a try.

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

I've heard good things about this place -- sounds pretty decent despite the guacamole issue!

Jen said...

Sounds like I need to check this place out. I agree with Megan - I just want my avocado in my guac.

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