24 Roberts Street, Taupo
Being the latest addition to the Lone Star Family, the recently opened Taupo restaurant is certainly busy. It’s a brand new, two storied, fancy pants complex, situated on the lake front between KFC and the new ‘Coffee Club’ cafe.
We’d heard a few horror stories from locals regarding service and waiting times – ‘teething problems’ for a new establishment. On our recent Saturday night outing, staff cautioned a ‘2 hour’ wait for seating. Our party of eight were more than comfortable with only a half hour catch up in the bar before our table was ready. Maybe this was a case of under promise and over deliver? We were seated in the upstairs dining area, which looks to be set up for larger groups. We looked out to two huge tables (6 – 10 pax) on the deck, as well as an amazing view of Lake Taupo and the central plateau mountains. I noted that one of these tables remained vacant for most of the night.
Our only complaint is that our drinks orders were very slow. There is a full bar upstairs, but apparently the order has to go through the downstairs bar, which means you go thirsty waiting for the bar staff there to finish serving the patrons who are in the bar, waiting for their tables. Confused? So were we!
Lone Star has a cowboy theme, and many of the menu items are named in the same fashion. Our group thoroughly enjoyed our generous sized meals. The husband, obviously after a pick me up after all our Christmas spending, ordered a Feelgood Fillet ($36) – 225g of beef, served with potatoes, mushrooms and spinach. His summation – “the best steak meal I’ve had in a long time”.
My vegetarian burrito ($27) was very filling, served with chunky potatoes and the most amazing coleslaw (red cabbage, pumpkin seeds, celery, corn, carrots, tomato, and loads more).
The two ladies who ordered the Redneck Ribs (nine ribs for $26.50) both agreed that the first two or three in the stack were delicious, but the rest lacked enough sauce and were a bit bland. One very pregnant member of the group, chose the fish dish (Rock the Boat – $28.50) and was impressed.
The other males at our table finished off lamb shanks and various steak dishes, grunting in agreement about how enjoyable their meals were.
Because calories don’t count when you are on holiday, we shared a selection of desserts. The husband and I did our best to finish the decadent Jack Daniels Chocolate Fudge Pudding – a self saucing pud, covered with Jack Daniels. Yum, yum, yum! I didn’t indulge in the Banoffie Pie, but it looked incredible. I did, however, enjoy more than one mouthful of the Longhorn Cheesecake (Kahlua and Moro Bar flavoured), which was out of this world. Lone Star is worth a visit just for the desserts alone.
We had a fabulous night, ate way too much tasty food, and basically had to be rolled to the car at the end of the evening.
In a Nutshell: Great location. The food is consistently delicious, and the portions generously sized. However, if you are after great service, or are feeling thirsty, you may want to give them a few more months to practise.
Top Tip: Get your name on the list early, and if you want a great view, ask for an upstairs table.