Both the Statesman and the Chronicle reviewed Black Star Co-op this week, the cooperatively-owned brewpub where Airport meets North Lamar. Statesman critic Mike Sutter's review is glowing (if oddly studded with Ayn Rand jokes?): "The food has no reason to be this good. The staff has no reason to be this relaxed. The pub has no reason to feel this public. Except that it is, they are and it most certainly does." Sutter gives Black Star a 9.0/10.
Meanwhile, Lee Nichols and Claudia Alarcón review Black Star's beer and food, although as one of the Co-op's many owners, Nichols seems maybe a bit of an odd choice? He discloses it, at least: "Lee Nichols, is one of the hundreds of member-owners of Black Star Co-op, just as many of you might be members of Wheatsville. Some might see that as a conflict of interest, but to Nichols, it means he expects some good beer for his investment." Anyway, while the duo was perhaps not as excited as Sutter (they had issues with the service and the atmosphere), they were generally in favor of the place.
Mike Sutter also reviews Red's Porch, giving the South Lamar sports bar a 7.0/10: "Somewhere between the South and south of the border, however, we relaxed on a sunny afternoon with hot queso cradling shots of guacamole and greasy chorizo... In that light, Red's shines its brightest: guilty-pleasure food, a waitstaff that can play a little and still pay attention, a two-drink buzz and the knowledge that the afternoon sun will stay longer and longer with each passing day." [Statesman]
The Fearless Critic is pleasantly surprised by One Love Kitchen: "We’d expected a half-assed moneymaking venture of the sort we’d have come up with (not too long ago) while scraping the carpet for dropped bits of schwag. But no, the owner’s a young guy who lived in Jamaica for five years and fell in love with West Indian cuisine. What’s more, he can actually cook the stuff quite well." [FC]
The Fearless Critic also finds decent fish and chips at Bits & Druthers: "Those chips, salted in good, melting flakes, could be crisper, but the golden Real Ale batter is delicious, its beery sweetness encasing a light, flaky fish. It does get gummier with each passing minute, so consume quickly." [FC]
Black Star Co-op. [Photo: Black Star]