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Trina's Starlite Lounge

I'm heading to Trina's Starlite this weekend and it seems like they have a fairly limited menu. Any suggestions on what to try and what to skip? Also, how are their cocktails?

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  1. The corn dog is fantastic. I mean, at one level, it's just a corn dog, but it's a very tasty corn dog.

    1. I'm a big fan.

      As awesome as it is that htey have it, I've heard enough negative statements about the chicken & waffles that I haven't tried it yet (it doesn't help that it's one of the most expensive things on the menu).

      Cocktails are good, they even use carpano antica as their sweet vermouth in everything. They're not Drink-good, but that's to be expected.

      I liked both their gravy fries & chili cheese fries, preferred the latter. The dog of the day is hit or miss depending on what they're doing with it (been mostly hits with me though). Corn dog is pretty good. Burgers are good if you like the griddled flat patty style of burger.

      What I really like about this place is that you can go and get some grub & beer for under $10 or you can make it an expensive affair with nicer food & several cocktails. It's a nice mix.

      Crowd trends towards the hipster side of things.

      EDIT: I should say though that with the exception of one of their brunches, I've not been there when there's been any amount of crowd there, always a fairly quiet time (maybe every seat at the bar is full, a couple of other parties throughout the dining areas). I can totally see it being annoying if I had to squeeze in somewhere theere.

      1. I've had several cocktails and have been pleased. Nice folks working there, too.

        1. Personally, I'd eat elsewhere first. Not exciting choices, and for the money much better food elsewhere. I've only eaten there a couple of times, but it felt like the menu was a placeholder for later that has yet to be filled with something else.

          But I have loved each drink I've had there, and the service is great and friendly. There was one drink I especially loved with gin and Lillet, and another with chai-infused cachaca. I think they change their drink menu somewhat regularly.

          1. Thanks all for the responses. I'll report back!

            1. I had the chicken and waffles and I actually thought it was delicious, juicy crisply fried but not greasy chicken. The jalapeno syrup was a nice touch. I do agree that the price was a tiny bit high- just $2 less and it would seem appropriate.
              I really liked their signature Starlight cocktail. It's made with a purple liqueur the name of which has "Couer" in it and the rest of which escapes me at the moment. We'd never heard of it so we looked it up and it's basically a proprietary flavor mostly known for being purple. I actually bought a bottle for a friend and we tasted it plain- total cough syrup. So, not sure what the ratio of ingredients is but my point is kudos to the bar tender for making that stuff drinkable & I can't wait to have another one.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Parsnipity

                I also liked the chicken and waffles. Since it was enough food for 2 people (probably we are light eaters compared to the average person, but the portion looked huge to me), I actually thought it was a good deal. I *loved* the jalapeno syrup!

              2. Ordered a cocktail off their list - The Samata - Bison Grass vodka, ginger syrup, lemon juice, green tea, mint. It was cool, refreshing...a good starter or after-dinner without prior dessert drink. DC had A Brenda - vanilla chai-infused cachaca, Canton, lemon & orange juices - too sweet for me.

                I ordered a Green Point and Toronto from two separate bartenders and thought those were worlds better than the menu cocktails. I would encourage just ordering what you like.

                Re: Parsnipity's post - The purple is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parfait_...
                The signature cocktail has a white rum base, which probably explains why drinking the purple stuff straight was not satisfying.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  Thanks, Bob- yeah, I'm not sure where I got "couer" from. It's definitely parfait d'amour. The bottle I bought was Marie Brizzard. I haven't been brave enough to try concocting it on my own again yet...

                2. As an aside, I had their double burger recently--Starlite Style with spicy slaw, cheese and a few french fries on the burger. Well-priced at $7, but that's about the best thing I can say about it. The preformed patties were too dense, cooked until fairly dry, and devoid of much fat or beefy flavor. The toppings were nice and helped out the dry meat, but I certainly won't order it again. I'd rather pay twice that for the Green St burger, which is pretty steep but at least I'd enjoy it.

                  On the upside, their beer list is much improved since they opened.

                  1. Their chili alone gets 5 stars-- it is unbelievably tasty. Not for purists-- it has chocolate as an added ingredient, but man oh man is it stellar!

                    Best chili - creative

                    Trina's Starlite Lounge
                    3 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: brownboots2

                      I don't think chocolate is an especially uncommon chili ingredient.


                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        Particularly if one is from southern OH/northern KY ...

                        1. re: jgg13

                          It is pretty uncommon up here though! I miss the Cincinnati chili I grew up with, and I assume Trina's isn't a ground beef, saucy chili like Cincinnati chili. MC, are there places you know of that have a soupy chili with chocolate? I'd like to try that.

                          1. re: hckybg

                            I haven't had Trina's chili but I can't imagine for a second that it is cinci style. I'd have probably heard about it if it was. :) I don't know of any place outside of people's home kitchens around here that serve such a thing.

                            1. re: jgg13

                              It's definitely not Cincinnati style at Trina's--they serve it in a bowl. Unless you have a stomach of galvanized steel, you would be borderline crazy to eat/drink a bowl of Skyline! I have never seen Cincinnati chili up here; the only east coast place I have seen that has it is Hard Times, a small chain in the DC area.

                    2. I went to Trina's for the first time recently and while the cocktails were very good, the food was unbelievably salty. Really gross. The corn dog was sprinkled with flaky sea salt, which I thought was just weird. Who salts corndogs? Everything else was also too salty. I think next time I'll just get drinks there and then grab food elsewhere in the neighborhood...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: maillard

                        I agree with the salt comment, the corn dog was crazy salty as were the onion strings and I have a high salt tolerance! The food in general was nothing to write home about but I did enjoy the creative cocktail menu.

                        Trina's Starlite Lounge
                        3 Beacon St, Somerville, MA 02143

                      2. I finally made it over there last night and had some great dishes. I loved the corn dog, especially the breading and the dog of the day was a tasty Farmer's Market dog with a hot dog wrapped in smoked bacon topped with Brussels sprout and broccoli hash and topped with a mustard maple glaze. Incredible. The fried chicken on the chicken waffle was perfectly crispy and tender on the inside and I especially loved the chili pepper syrup. The gravy fries were my least favorite - the fries were WAY too salty. Overall, decent meal but a little pricey for what you get.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: CreativeFoodie42

                          chicken and waffles! and a negroni or cucumber martini! they do it all and they do it well! talk to Trina and her husband behind the bar. Excellent people and great service. Thanks!

                        2. Met some Boston hounds here for dinner and drinks this week.

                          Vibe - fun, fine, with perhaps a little more winking irony to the faux retro feel than I'd ideally want, but I can take it if everyone else can.

                          Food - by no means jaw-droppingly excellent or unique, but very good, especially considering the totally reasonable prices.

                          Drinks - Bob Dobalina nailed it above. Menu drinks are only ok, but the actual cocktail craft here is remarkably great. Fresh juices, Carpano Antico vermouth, bartenders with deep knowledge, this is serious business.

                          Bottom line, Green Street is still my place in Camberville, but TSL is a really, really nice addition to the area. Can't wait to go back. Easily one of the three or four best cocktail bars on that side of the river.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: finlero

                            Totally agree about the menu drinks vs. ordering "off menu". I had a Ramos gin fizz there for brunch the other day that was second to none! I'd ordered a regular gin fizz initially since I wasn't sure if they knew the recipe or had all the ingredients for a classic Ramos. I was pleasantly surprised when the bartender asked if I wanted to "Ramos it up"!

                            1. re: finlero

                              I agree with your overall assessment. I think the bar area is a fun place for cocktails and the bartenders have been good every time I’ve been. They also have Dogfish 60 IPA on tap, which is a plus. From my experience (I’ve eaten there three times) the food is decent, but nothing special. The burger is solid, but not really better than what you'll get at Charlies. The chicken and waffles was tasty (the spicy syrup was a welcome touch) but the price seemed out of whack with the rest of the menu. As mentioned above, the onion strings are remarkably salty. I perversely enjoyed them, but I couldn’t in good conscious recommend them to others. I really liked the back room for table service and atmosphere, but not so much the side room to the left when you walk in, which feels sterile and the décor thrown together. The service has been good every time I've been, from the cheerful hostess to the wait staff. I would recommend this place for those, like myself, who are in the area and want drinks or cheap eats (if you stick to the burgers and dogs), but it’s probably not a destination dining place in my book.

                              1. re: tomjb27

                                The back room is especially amazing on Sunday nights when Ben is bartending there - wish he were around more.