It’s finally starting to smell a little like spring in Boston. Granted, that temptress has fooled us (in the form of a April snow storm) before but I can’t help it, in my mind winter is almost over. This brings me back where I was last almost-spring: Austin, Texas (and where my luck co-blogger bestie Kait gets to reside year round). There are two things about Austin that made me fall hard and fast: nice people and cheap tacos (okay, there’s a third but “socially acceptable cowboy boots" doesn’t fit my narrative here). We ate tacos for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks (usually for no more than $20 total). With each squeeze of a lime wedge I thought "God I wish Boston was like this."
Well, it seems like wishes really can come true. Boston now has itself the closest thing to a Austin taco bar (that I can imagine) right here in Boston’s rat city: Lone Star Taco Bar in Allston. For those not familiar with the charm of the college ghetto that is (much of) Allston do not be deterred. Lone Star comes to us from the very same folks who blessed the neighborhood (and Boston in general) with the beer-lovers paradise that is Deep Ellum. The two sit next door to one another and once inside a glass door separates the establishments- which might as well be some kind of bizarre looking glass because they feel worlds apart in the best possible way. Like Deep Ellum, Lone Star is somewhere between a hipster haven and Grandpa’s haunt, except here your grandpa wears spurs. The TV plays old Westerns (be still my heart), but as you saunter up to the bar the first thing you see is this fella:
The name’s Trace, which Bartender Brian says is an homage to their favorite whiskey (Buffalo Trace). Lone Star doesn’t actually sell whiskey (Deep Ellum does!) because they are all about the beer and tequila, all of which are hand selected and none of which I recognized. They do, however, serve the mighty Michelada- that’s a beer, lime juice, tomato juice cocktail, Yankees. Fuck the bloody mary, I’ll take my hangover with spicy beer.
Speaking of hangovers- Lone Star is the ideal brunch spot. This is coming from someone who generally has an intense dislike for “brunch." Lone Star serves its full menu all day, so you can sit at the zinc bar (which the owners drove all the way up from Savannah, Georgia in one solid piece) and get yourself some huevos rancheros (house made tortillas, fried eggs, house beans, ranchero sauce, avocado, and queso fresco). Having already had an awful egg breakfast down the street at a new diner, my husband and I ordered the grilled avocado with griddled queso (salsa verde and corn relish) taco; the chicken ranchero toastada (beans, ranchero sauce, napa cabbage, and crema); and the dallas spicy beef taco (fried tortilla, mushrooms, chilis, and longhorn cheese). While Casey (another awesome bartender) placed our order and made our michelada’s I asked Brian about the simple menu. “We don’t need to pretty it up," he said. “At night this place is a margarita factory, so we didn’t want the menu too complicated."
And it doesn’t need to be. The meat is perfectly seasoned, the veggies crisp, and the tortillas so flavorful that simple is addictive enough (the house made sweet potato jalapeno sauce doesn’t hurt, either). “All we’re missing," Brian adds, “is the old lady in the back."
Lone Star Taco Bar is located at 477 Cambridge Street, Allston