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Northern Light

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I think Lone Star is the type of place people eat at because it's there. It's not the type of place one seeks out.
I haven't eaten there in many years, and never found anything on the menu inspired or even particularly good.

Except, I have to say, their freshly made tortilla chips. Those were decent. But not enough to get me back in when everything else was ho hum.
 

Skeezix

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I haven't eaten there in many years, and never found anything on the menu inspired or even particularly good.

Except, I have to say, their freshly made tortilla chips. Those were decent. But not enough to get me back in when everything else was ho hum.
It's like Jack Astor's or Milestone's or Boston Pizza. At least the food at Jack Astor's isn't that bad and the beer selection has gotten better.
As I've said before, it's a shame.
 

grey

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A stodgy corporate structure that has been unable to capitalize on the Austin-driven resurgent popularity of Tex-Mex. The original Ottawa location in the late '80s must have been so, so good.

I remember having a birthday lunch (1993, age 10) at the Front & Simcoe location and one of the servers they managed to round up to sing was a cheerleader for the Argos.
 
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Bruno Republic

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....then it moved and it seemed no customers moved with it.
Moved from a large prominent space to a smallish, hidden, dark basement, so right there they lost a lot of potential. But far worse was that the newer location didn't have the fresh chips.

Once upon a time, the chain was fantastic. The story reminds me of Lime Rickey's, another once-incredible chain which got destroyed when the management decided to eliminate every single thing about it that was unique, above-average, or enjoyable. And then were puzzled that sales tanked.
 
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As I've said before, it's a shame.
FYI - Wiki entry for Val Belcher

Following his retirement from professional football, Belcher began a highly successful career as a restaurant entrepreneur. In 1986, he founded the Lone Star Cafe restaurant with former Ottawa Rough Rider teammate Larry Brune in the Ottawa suburb of Nepean. Over the years, it expanded into a franchise business throughout Eastern and Southern Ontario. It was renamed Lone Star Texas Grill operating under the Lone Star Group of Companies. The same group later started Big Daddy's Crab Shack & Oyster Bar franchise of restaurants. In 2005, Belcher resigned from the Lone Star Group of Companies. In 2008, he opened a new restaurant, Big Easy’s Seafood & Steak House, in Ottawa.

Apparently his son was in the food truck business in Ottawa as recently as 2014 - http://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=181897&page=226

AoD
 

interchange42

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FYI - Wiki entry for Val Belcher

Following his retirement from professional football, Belcher began a highly successful career as a restaurant entrepreneur. In 1986, he founded the Lone Star Cafe restaurant with former Ottawa Rough Rider teammate Larry Brune in the Ottawa suburb of Nepean. Over the years, it expanded into a franchise business throughout Eastern and Southern Ontario. It was renamed Lone Star Texas Grill operating under the Lone Star Group of Companies. The same group later started Big Daddy's Crab Shack & Oyster Bar franchise of restaurants. In 2005, Belcher resigned from the Lone Star Group of Companies. In 2008, he opened a new restaurant, Big Easy’s Seafood & Steak House, in Ottawa.

Apparently his son was in the food truck business in Ottawa as recently as 2014 - http://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=181897&page=226

AoD
I used to go to the Lone Star south of Square One in my un-formative suburban years. Really enjoyed it too…

I love the more authentic Mexican we've been getting lately, but every once in a while I have a hankering for Tex-Mex. Anyone know of places in TO to still get the Tex, not just the Mex?

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