Lone Star Taco Bar

I feel like I’m breaking some sort of code here.

Because I’m about to give away one of the city’s most secret, newest hidden gems.

It’s so secret, it doesn’t even have a storefront sign.

It doesn’t even have a website yet.

And it’s in… Allston.

Ah yes. Allston. The little neighborhood that boasts some of Boston’s best funky little restaurants. It’s filled with exotic cuisine at student-friendly prices. And Lone Star Taco Bar is the latest, hottest addition to the hood. From the folks behind Deep Ellum, Lone Star opened a couple of weeks ago with very little fan fare.

I had high hopes – while Deep Ellum is highly regarded for its craft beers, the food there is gastropub-worthy – so I imagine the sister bar featuring tacos and tequila would be as good, if not better. And I was right to have such high expectations. The pork carnitas were the best I’ve ever had.

It looks like a typical little unassuming taco.

And then you take in the handmade tortilla, the bright flavors of salsa verde, just the right amount of cilantro, all topped with salty crumbles of cotija cheese.

And the pork! Not shredded, not cubed, not braised to a drab consistency. The carnitas here were simply seasoned to let the flavors of the pork shine though, resulting in well-marbled pieces with a golden caramelized exterior and juicy meat. This is carnitas done right.

I also really liked the house hot sauce – sweet potato-habanero and jalapeno hot sauce.

I work just around the corner for an ahem, award-winning ad agency, so my co-workers and I have been back a couple of times already. Notice the giant bison head watching over us. Also notice how the entire place is not so giant. (I was standing at the end of the bar near the front door when I took this photo).

We don’t drink tequila at lunch, but there is a tempting and impressive collection at Lone Star. They have over 40+ tequilas and mezcals, plus cocktails, cheladas, and cerveza. Grubstreet has the scanned menu here.

Aside from tacos and taco-appropriate beverages, there are also some small plates to share:

Warm fresh fried salt and pepper chips with guacamole is always a good choice when you’re in a Mexican restaurant, but the guac here is kinda anemic and onion-heavy so I would recommend the chips and salsa instead (salsa not pictured, but I’ve had it and it’s rich and briny).

The grilled corn with cotija cheese and chili lime aioli got rave reviews from my co-workers.

And so did the Dallas spicy beef tacos, which are fried tacos topped with spicy beef with mushrooms, chilis, and longhorn cheese.

But the all-around favorite were these beautiful fish tacos:

Beer battered fresh white fish, pickled cabbage slaw, and chili mango aioili. I admit that I am biased towards this because of the hot pink pickled cabbage, but I’m afraid Dorado Tacos now has some competition.

There are other items on the menu that I can’t wait to try, particularly the grilled avocado with griddled queso (!) taco and the huevos rancheros. Each item on the menu is between $4-$8 and the servers suggest two to three items per person. However I think two tacos is more than enough, especially if you share some apps too. If you want a big portion, get the chicken ranchero tostada:

At just $5, this is a heaping plate of pulled ranchero-braised chicken, a crispy tortilla, house beans, Napa cabbage, and crema.

Whatever you end up ordering, I highly recommend forking over an additional dollar and fifty cents (yes, $1.50) for a side of this:

PICKLED JALAPENOS.

Pickled.

Jalapenos!

I would go back over and over to Lone Star just for these. And the carnitas. And the fish tacos. And the grilled avocado tacos. And the margaritas. You get my point.

So, dear friends, if you’re in the area, I urge you to seek out this little hidden gem in Allston. There’s no name on the outside, but it’s right beside Deep Ellum.

It’s only marked by (what else but) a single star.

What’s your favorite hidden gem in your city?

Lone Star Taco Bar on Urbanspoon

See my favorite dishes at this restaurant on Tasted Menu

UPDATE: Lone Star now has a website – check it out and you’ll see my photos there!

   

24 Responses to “Lone Star Taco Bar”

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    Alaina posted February 18, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    Oh my gosh, I love pork tacos!! I will gladly go to Allston just for this food. Mexican is delicious.

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    MelissaNibbles posted February 19, 2012 at 7:39 am

    The fish tacos sound fantastic! I’m definitely going to check this place out. Thanks!

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    Michelle posted February 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

    The grilled corn looks AWESOME! I don’t make it to Allston often but I do love Deep Ellum too.

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    Molly posted February 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    You work about 30 yards from my house! Drop me a line next time you’re heading to Lone Star for fish tacos. We’re huge fans of Deep Ellum (and fish tacos) and had been counting down the days until this spot opened. We haven’t yet been but am so happy to know it was worth the wait.

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    Daisy posted February 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I wish I got out that way more. I haven’t been to Deep Ellum in ages and I really want everything on Lone Stars menu thanks to this post! great shots of the interior/exterior too!

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    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted February 19, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I’m so glad you told me about this place — it looks incredible!! I love Deep Ellum and don’t make it to Allston nearly enough. I’m pretty sure I will drive there just for some tacos now!

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    Elizabeth posted February 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Those tacos look seriously good, so does the elote. More pricey than my usual Dorado but I’m intrigued.

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    Renee {Eat.Live,Blog} posted February 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    OK, I’m pretty sure I have to have the fish taco tomorrow….

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    Emily Olson posted February 19, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    Thanks for sharing the deets on the new neighborhood place. Will definitely have to make a taco visit soon!

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    Megan posted February 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Sounds like we’re going to have to meet up there after work one day and stuff our faces together!

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    Parita @ myinnershakti posted February 20, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    Everything looks absolutely delish! I was in Austin, TX this weekend and ate my fair share of amazing tacos. Nothing else will ever compare!

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    Michelle Collins posted February 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I adore Deep Ellum, so I definitely need to check this place out. Newtowne Grille in Cambridge is one of my favorite neighborhood hidden gems!

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    Simply Life posted February 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    wow! I’m so happy to know about this- I definitely would have otherwise never seen it! thanks!

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    Molly Galler posted February 20, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I read about the opening of Lone Star and each night when I drive by I notice again that they still don’t have a sign up! Your photos have convinced me I need to go there ASAP! I love Deep Ellum and am eager to check out Lone Star. Your rave review has me itching to chomp on those pickled jalapenos!

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    Joanne posted February 21, 2012 at 7:48 am

    You could have sold me with sweet potato-jabanero sauce alone…but everything else looks awesome also!

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    Meghan posted February 21, 2012 at 9:27 am

    This looks so good! Marathon training has me ravenous, and I think tacos would hit the spot right now!

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    Erica @ In and Around Town posted February 21, 2012 at 11:49 am

    That corn looks like its worth the trip to Allston alone!!

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    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted February 21, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Everything looks great but that corn looks especially delicious! Great photos, Bianca!

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    Kim K posted February 23, 2012 at 11:09 am

    looks like i will be making a trip to allston sometime soon! have you been to Olecito? a-mazing.

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    Caitlin posted February 24, 2012 at 11:43 am

    DEF looks like a gem, yum!! I love pork tacos but fish tacos are another fave of mine and you hit the nail on the head calling them “beautiful”. Mmm those chips, I’d def have to get some of those.

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    MegSmith @ Cooking.In.College posted February 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Wow what a neat restaurant! I applied to an internship in Boston, if I get it you may have to show me around to fabulous little gems like this!

    • Bianca Garcia replied February 25th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Definitely! Let me know if/when you do get to Boston :)

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    Elina (Healthy and Sane) posted March 1, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Omg. I want it all! Must visit asap :)

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    rachel posted March 17, 2012 at 12:26 am

    I am going to try this place out this morning! I am so excited:)

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