Lone Star Texas Grill

I love meals that are interactive because it’s fun and an instant way to start conversations between dining companions. Naturally, fajitas are high on my favourite foods list because they’re just so much fun to eat, on top of being a somewhat healthy choice and so easily customizable to suit anyone’s taste.

Years ago, an ex boyfriend introduced me to Lone Star and promised me the best fajitas I have ever had in my life. Being a young teen, I really didn’t have much to compare it to, but I did know when I liked something – and I definitely liked these! Unfortunately, things didn’t work out with our young romance and there was never a Lone Star close enough to home to justify a trip, so I thought that was the last I would see of these amazing fajitas. You can imagine how excited I was when I heard Lone Star was opening in Oakville, and as an added bonus, it is up the street from my office. The anticipation was killing me and I drooled at the thought of finally trying these fajitas again.

Lone Star opened about a year ago in the building where Outback used to be before all the Canadian ones closed down. You are greeted at the door (generally held open by a plaid shirt wearing cowgirl) and transported to an atmosphere of cowboys and ranchers. There are boots, hats, horseshoes and wood trim everywhere you look, and all of the servers have code names like Nevada or T-Rex (not quite sure how that one fits the cowboy theme). There is a big machine at the back of the restaurant that churns out fresh-made tortilla shells and I have seen children back there watching and helping to make their own creations. 

Once we were seated, we were brought a basket of fresh tortilla chips and salsa instead of your typical bread basket. The chips were warm and lightly salted and the salsa was cool and made with crisp diced tomatoes and onions. We also ordered a Con Queso to start, which is a warm cheese dip that is similar in texture to Cheez Whiz but tastes like real melted cheese without the grease of real cheese. There was a mixture of spices and jalapenos in the cheese that gave it a very mild kick. You could also get it topped with beef, but we opted to enjoy it on its own.
We came for the fajitas, and decided to be adventurous, so we ordered the Fajita Fiesta for 2: $32.99 for steak and chicken, shrimp and ribs with all of the fixings. I didn’t really feel like the chicken so we asked for a double order of steak instead – a decision that I am so very glad we made. We also asked for a cup of the Honey Garlic Jalapeno sauce on the side for an extra sweet kick to the meal.

The fajita sides came first and we were each handed a small sectioned plate that had everything from lettuce to guacamole. There was also rice and beans to share. Lone Star definitely does not want to have food go to waste because these portions were tiny. For an average person, I would say there was enough fixings to make 2 normal sized fajitas. I have been with many people who have had to ask for more cheese, more lettuce, etc. because there simply isn’t enough given the amount of meat/veggies that come out and the unlimited number of tortilla shells.
The tortilla shells came out at the same time as the sizzling meat platter in order to be as warm as possible when you go to eat them. From my previous experiences with Lone Star, the server is supposed to open the tortilla container and offer you one before setting them down on the table, but ours did not do this on this visit. Nonetheless, the tortillas were warm and chewy and tasted like they just came off the machine. They don’t taste like tortilla shells you normally buy from the grocery store because they are so soft and chewy vs. the processed dry ones from the store. Trust me, you won’t want to eat anything but fresh shells after you try these.
The meat came on a large sizzling platter that you can hear from the other side of the restaurant. Placed in the middle, it covered nearly the whole table!  The shrimp were perfectly cooked and tender with every bite. They were listed as garlic shrimp but with the flavours of the onions and peppers, that was really all I could taste. The ribs – and I have never thought to have ribs in fajitas – were fall off the bone tender and doused in barbeque sauce. The sauce was too sweet for my liking, but the meat was well cooked and worked surprisingly well in a fajita. My favourite of all though, was the steak because it literally melted in your mouth when you bit into it. It was cooked to a perfect medium as it sizzled on the plate and seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper. I was so glad we doubled up on the steak because I could have eaten my weight in that alone. The peppers and onions were cooked perfectly with a bit of crisp, so there were no soggy veggies in any fajita we ate.
The service we received from the server was average. I felt because we came later in the evening and were asked to sit in the bar, the service was much less attentive than if we were in the dining room. Not to say that the bar was full, because we were one of perhaps four tables, but our server was also the bartender and I think she must have been distracted because it was a struggle to have her come by to the table. The manager did make it a point to stop by and ask how we were enjoying our meal, and we appreciated that gesture. He said that he tries to make it out to every table to make it a personal experience, and I thought that was such a nice thing to do. It’s so rare to get that personalized face-to-face interaction, and I thought it showed good customer service on his part.

If you’re in the mood for some excellent fajitas, I highly recommend checking out Lone Star. There were many other options on the menu as well, but they are known for their fajitas and I can see why. Fresh, hot, made to order tortilla shells make all the difference in the world – and if you like steak, you have to try it from here. You’ll never want fajitas from anywhere else again. I know I don’t!

Lone Star Texas Grill on Urbanspoon
Lone Star Texas Grill
2520 Hyde Park Gate, Oakville


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