Lone Star Taco Bar, Allston, Mass.

One of the nicest job perks I get (you know, besides sampling food all day) is half-day Fridays during the summer. Because we're living way outside of the city now, I usually spend my Friday afternoons (when I'm not running off to Portsmouth, Vermont, or the Cape for the weekend) lunching with friends and running errands while I wait for Jeff to get out of work so we can head home.

From hitting up the Staff Meal truck with Lin and Daisy to eating panini with Erica to snacking poolside at The Colonnade with Sara to enjoying the Blue Room lunch grill with Emily or just wandering around the farmers' market or getting a pedicure, I think I've done a pretty good job of making the most of these free Friday afternoons.

Most recently my friend Molly and I decided to finally check out Lone Star Taco Bar. Since we were done with work for the day, we figured there's nothing wrong with a little day drinking and ordered a couple of margaritas.

I got the Paloma, which features blanco tequila, grapefruit, lime, and salt and is topped with Mexican grapefruit soda. The soda really made this drink. I've had plenty of paloma margaritas before, but I loved the subtle bubbles in this one.

Paloma at Lone Star Taco Bar, Allston, Mass.

Molly went with the El Diablo Margarita, a concoction of reposado tequila, mezcal, lime, and jalapeƱo and habanero agave syrup that's served over ice with a chili-lime salt rim. It was subtly smoky and had a nice background kick of heat.

El Diablo margarita at Lone Star Taco Bar, Allston, Mass.

We decided to order a bunch of stuff to share -- my favorite way to dine -- and Lone Star makes this pretty easy by offering an array of tacos for only $4 each. First, we tried the beef barbacoa taco, which had smoked brisket, pickled red onions, avocado crema, and cotija. We thought this one was just OK. It could use a little more flavor or some sort of sauce for the brisket, but the other components were tasty and helped complement the meat.

Beef barbacoa taco at Lone Star Taco Bar, Allston, Mass.

We were big fans of the fish taco we tasted next. The fish of the day was pollock, and the taco featured lightly fried, beer-battered chunks of it along with pickled cabbage slaw and chili-mango aioli. The cabbage added bright color and lots of crunch.

Fish taco at Lone Star Taco Bar, Allston, Mass.

Some chips and salsa provided a good break between tacos. The chips were salty and crunchy and the salsa nice and chunky.

Chips and salsa at Lone Star Taco Bar, Allston, Mass.

The grilled avocado taco with griddled queso was our absolute favorite. The queso and avocado were topped with salsa verde and corn relish. All the flavors and textures came together nicely and made for a very satisfying dish. I almost wanted to order another one!

Grilled avocado taco at Lone Star Taco Bar, Allston, Mass.

Lastly, we tried the carnitas pork taco. This taco had confit pork shoulder, salsa verde, cilantro, and queso fresco. The tender pork contrasted nicely with the crunchy salsa and was just the right note to end on.

Carnitas pork taco at Lone Star Taco Bar, Allston, Mass.

We both agreed that Lone Star Taco Bar was a nice spot for lunch, and four tacos and some chips and salsa was plenty filling for us. The restaurant is very small and has a casual, bar-like atmosphere. There were a few other diners in there when we went around 1:30 in the afternoon. It wouldn't be somewhere I'd trek to for a nice dinner, but we enjoyed having lunch there and found the tacos interesting and well-composed for the most part.

Have you been to Lone Star Taco Bar yet? What did you think?

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