It’s nice watching something come from nothing, isn’t it?
Lone Star Grill have recently upgraded their premises from the stark and dark unit hidden at the back of a car park and gone for something a little more fitting of an independent on the rise. They invited me to check it out, so off I went to Wolverton one chilly Autumn evening with my PIF (partner in food) Mr YDS!
First impressions boast a serious improvement on the ambiance factor: this isn’t an unfinished black hole like the last place. It’s warm, charming, inviting. Lone Star Grill now offers a proper dining environment, complete with a bar and soon-to-be-launched cocktail menu. (Psst, there’s gonna be a cocktail with Haribo garnishes!)
So the ‘old’ Lone Star wasn’t a write off for me by any means. Rather, I felt there were better options out there due to the inconsistency of the food. I did always admire their devotion to truly authentic American comfort food and remember being very fond of their Hush Puppy corn fritters! The menu given to me was a clear, tasty offering of burgers, hot dogs and classic American dishes like meatloaf and chicken fried steak. Meat & carb fans need only apply!
It was a stroke of luck that Mr YDS and I chose to share our potato skins starter; believe it or not this was not noted as a sharing plate! The dish surely looked impressive and inviting, but was less hollowed out potato skins and more just two jacket potatoes cut in half. Disappointingly they were undercooked and crunchy. A basic error and a great shame given the delicious crispy skin, and even better the incredibly tender and sweet slow-cooked pork. The topping was to die for, especially with a cool dipping of sour cream.
Mr YDS ordered a burger. I recall their burgers always being very good. The ‘Red Adair’ is a decadent filling of peanut butter, bacon jam, baconnaise and Chipstick crisps. A gloriously outrageous homage to our friends across the pond! I’d order this myself; it was really good fun, not to mention very tasty. One to appeal to your silly nature! The chips were a worthy side, perfectly cooked.
I ummed-and-aahed over my main but eventually took the waitress’s advice on the ribs. The selling point was, “They’re really big, but I’m a bit of an animal.”
Me too my friend. Me too.
Bloody. Lovely. Huge meaty ribs (animal mode engaged) which were sweet and juicy. They soak ’em in apple juice don’t you know? I took mine with a side of crunchy sweet potato fries, great for dipping in the chilli lime sauce they pour over the corn, which by the way, is great. Very different to anything I’ve had on corn before, and I approve.
So yes: it’s nice watching something come from nothing. Lone Star are offering (mostly) very tasty food in gut-busting portions, but they still have a little polishing to do. There is potential here for greatness, but polish they must. I suppose ultimately I’m excited to see what they do over the next couple of years: Lone Star version 2.0 has been a definite improvement on the original, I wonder what 3.0 may bring?