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All Star Sandwich Bar lived up the hype

I grabbed The Gobbler today. It was very good. The turkey was moist, the sausage stuffing is addictive and the orange cranberry relish is so_damn_good! The relish really made the sandwich, the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and citrus. I wish it was a side. The bread was just okay. I thought it was a bit dry. Overall it was pretty great and even on a warm day like this it has me longing for Thanksgiving leftovers.

My friend got the muffaletta and it was great. I've spent a lot of time in NOLA and always bring jars of olive salad home from Central Grocery. I can't tell how happy I am that someone around here understands that a muffaletta just isn't a muffaletta without that salad. It's a delicious oily mess. I'll be ordering this at my next visit. It's absolutely the best muffaletta I've had outside of NOLA.

I called in my order ahead of time and was so glad I did since there was a line out the door when I picked it up. Chris was there taking phone orders and checking on customers. I really like what he's done with the space. The open kitchen is great and the open room is very cheery. I'll be back again and again. This place is a terrific addition to the neighborhood.

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  1. Is seating available or is it all take-out?

    1. There are about 40 seats. They serve beer and wine too.

      I've tried 7 different sandwiches and all were fantastic. So far, I love the Texas Reuben and Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown (with Inner Beauty hot sauce) the most.

      Chili is excellent: no beans, plenty of meat and bursting with flavor even though it doesn't have the pepper heat you might expect from a Schlesinger venture.

      1. I also went to the ASSB today, had griddled black forest ham and vermont cheddar on rye. Great bread - nicely toasted, flavorful ham and cheese. There's an onion-ginger chutney on the sandwich, I'd say it needs some bite, couldn't taste it at all and it was maybe too watery... dripping all over the plate; maybe the sandwich needed a little salt as well. Nice place inside, great selection of sandwiches and wine/beer. Chris Schlesinger was there at the counter, very much in charge.

        Walked down the street, got some beers and Bukowski's and some oysters with white sangria at East Coast Grill (after hearing about the sangria on Chowhound).

          1. Are all the sandwiches 'put together' or can one make their own combinations?

            1. The sandwiches have specific ingredients, but there are many choices (three different grilled cheeses for instance) and you can "hop up your rod" with a variety of additions. The menu is on the web now:


              I was wondering if they'd be flexible about changes, I woulnd't mind english muffins as a bread choice for instance.

              2 Replies
              1. re: steinpilz

                They don't list Fri. in the hours section.

                Is the turkey "real" or thin deli style?

                1. re: Joanie

                  just called them...11-10. They're going to fix the website.

              2. Thanks for the update! Have actually talked my husband into making a "sandwich run" tomorrow because of the posts here on CH - Because of you, I'm getting the Gobbler (hope it keeps for dinner because I'm thinking of the Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown for lunch). He's checking out the Texas Reuben and the roast beef and blue cheese. I love how you can "hot rod yo sandwich" (makes me want to have a tuna just so I can add potato chips). You guys who are in walking distance - (Gary? 7+ !) I'm jealous. And I just noticed the "Milkshake of the Day"...

                The menu:


                1 Reply
                1. re: Rubee

                  Just finished half of my Atomic Meatloaf. Temperature-wise, it traveled well from Cambridge to downtown Boston, it was still warm when I got it (E ate his Pastrami there with a friend who had the Texas Reuben - both enjoyed their sandwiches) - I thought mine was very good. I love how they grill the meatloaf so it has those crunchy edges. Served with a nice red onion chutney and melted MJ cheese, tho mine was on rye, not sourdough as described. The major disappointment was they forgot the Inner Beauty, so there was no heat in my Atomic, but it was a great sandwich otherwise (and I had some mayo in the fridge that I had mixed with Tapatio and El Yucateco Habanero hot sauces, so slathered that on). I'll ascribe the mistake to opening week. Also, took a bite out of my Gobbler which I'm going to have later. Nice portion of thick turkey slices (some with roasted skin on still - Yum), tangy cranberry relish, and tasty stuffing. They don't have the milkshakes yet ;).

                2. tried this place last night.....had some opening week troubles, like they seemed to be having problems figuring out whose orders were to go and whose were supposed to eat in. also, i ordered a greek marinated grilled vegetable sandwich for my s.o. but she ended up with a grilled vegetable ratatouille and mozzarella melt when they botched the order. my sandwich also didn't seem to come on scali like the menu said but was on a bulkie roll instead.

                  all that aside, the bite i had of her wrong sandwich was pretty good and my muffaletta on a bulkie roll was right tasty. the $2.50 side of cider slaw i think was a little bland and the portion not worth the cost, though.

                  not a bad first try here, but still a few bugs in the system i think. a good addition to a great chow area, though, and i'll sure give 'em another shot to get things straight. i had to stop into christina's for a pint of banana ice cream while i was up that way...

                  1. Website reads: "Wrap free since 2006"

                    I am SO there!

                    FYI: JOANIE: The pdf menu says Friday and Saturday 11 - 10

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      Thanks, weird the front page is wrong.

                      And can any of the turkey eaters tell me if they've got a roast turkey back there or is it typical deli style?

                    2. No one's had the burger yet? I'm gonna have to go try it myself--but Inman is damn far!

                      1. oh my, they ahve a grilled pork chop sandwich with sweet and hot pickle relish?

                        I have to get here...but I could see myself NEVER being able to order between all these awesome choices.

                        AHH.. OH MY GOD! THEY MAKE NJ STYLE "RIPPER" HOT DOGS!!!!!!!!!

                        <runs out the door towards inman>

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: tamerlanenj

                          They have rippers? I think I know where I'm going as soon as I'm done with work!

                          1. re: hiddenboston

                            Tamerlane - A friend from NJ asked whether "one all the way one" means anything to you in relation to the NJ rippers?

                            If so, I think we may be talking about the dogs from the Hot Grill?

                            1. re: Bob Dobalina

                              One All-The Way is a Hot Grill expression, which basically means loaded up with chili and onions.

                              Down the road at Rutt's Hutt, the birthplace of the ripper, they don't do chili. Just homemade relish.

                              Both places deep fry their dogs, but Rutt's is the place known for doing the well-done deep fry where the dog literally burts open (hence, ripper).

                        2. We stopped by for the first time last night. They were out of both Turkey and Roast Beef which was a bit disapointing.

                          We both ended up with a standard Ruben. The taste of the sandwich was excellent and the corned beef was probably the best I have ever had. For my taste (and $), the sandwich probably should have about 50% more meat.

                          The chili was nothing special. It was a bit thin and not nearly spicy enough.

                          We will be back to try other menu items. The meatloaf looked and smelled awesome.

                          1. I too partook of a sandwich here last night. Also had the reuben.

                            Now, to put my standards in context - my all-time, never-had-better, favorite reuben sandwich is from Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor. It is so good in fact that my BF occasionally has the fixings Fed-Exed (in dry ice) to make at home. Mostly b/c we haven't found better in Boston (although Mike's in Brookline comes very close).

                            So, my standards are high but expectations generally lower when trying a new place for the first time.

                            The components of the Reuben at ASSC were high quality. The corned beef was good - although not the best I've had (that honor still goes to Zingerman's). Cheese, kraut, and dressing were all good.

                            I agree with Gabatta that there could have been more meat, and dressing. The bread was nicely crusty and just thick enough but more like a rye "cousin" than a true rye - IMO.

                            My only real complaint was that the sandwich was barely grilled and thus the cheese was not melted. When I treat myself to this type of sandwich I want a warm, melty, gooey mess of a sandwich that requires many napkins. So I guess I'd just ask them to grill it longer so that the filling is all melted and hot.

                            I also want to mention that the people working there were all great - so friendly, helpful, and enthusiastic.

                            1. Now see, I'm bummed because my first try there wasn't nearly as promising. My boyfriend and I did a take out order of a Beef on Weck and a Chopped Liver & Tongue sandwich, with a side of a cup of chili (just to try out). We sat and waited for our order, which took a bit, but we didn't mind, and walked exactly 2 blocks back to my house. The chili and the beef on weck were barely above room temp, which was a real blunder in my book. The chopped liver & tongue had more chopped egg than it did liver or tongue, big no-no in my book, and the tongue was a little dry. The beef on weck was fine, but cool and forgetable. The chili seperated into an oil and a sauce layer (eww, lot of oil) that I in good faith mixed up, try to eat some, tasted really fatty and bland, and gave up on it. I guess I'll give it another shot based on this board, but man I feel left out :(

                              1. InmanSq_Girl: I'm really hoping the beef on weck gets better than what you had. Was it just the temperature? Was it a real "kimmelweck" (or "wick") roll? how were the beef and jus? how was the horseradish? Has anyone else tried this one?

                                I have never found a good beef on weck (heck, I've hardly found *any* beef on weck at all) outside of Buffalo. Let's hope it was just the first-week jitters.

                                1. I'm really curious about the rippers. Do they break open in the oil like at Rutts? Do they have a homemade relish? ohboyohboyohboy...I haven't had a deep fried dog since I moved out of New Jersey.

                                  1. So just finished my takeout.

                                    The good news; They have the sandwiches down. I can't add more in the way of positive comments except to compare their muff favorably to those I had in NOLA. Their olive salad was thickly spread and was nice and garlicky. One thing that is worth considering if you order out is that this one would benefit from a good long rest. If I didn't finish the whole thing at once, I imagine it would be even better tomorrow.

                                    Homemade sweet pickles there are fantastic!

                                    The bad news; Service is a MESS. I waited 20 minutes for two cold sandwiches, easily explained by watching the chaos behind the counter. The setting there is utter bedlam and not in a good way. My recommendation to them is to back down on the tunes and the shouting and all the overwhelming ambiance until people there begin to find their groove and it takes fewer than 12 people to run the kitchen. The lunch rush is not a good time to have guys doing prep work.

                                    Another minor note, it may have been the rush there (and I'm glad there's a rush, they're doing great business and deserve it) but the wrapping of the sandwiches was sloppy sloppy sloppy. Getting a sandwich, however good that is falling out of the wrapping only serves as a reminder of all the people who have had their hands on your food.

                                    So again, All Star folks, take a deep breath and do things right. You are SOOO close to perfection...

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Ernie Diamond

                                      Absolutely agree on two points:
                                      1. Muffaletta will probably improve overnight. At Central Kitchen in NOLA I don't think I ever got a made-to-order Muff. I even flew home a couple times with some in fridge bags and they were still yummy a day, even two later.
                                      2. YES, the wrapping of the sandwiches is horrible. Stickier tape maybe? I dunno, but both sandwiches I picked up yesterday required some re-assembly.

                                      Wrapping aside, I think I'm totally in love with the place.

                                      1. re: Ernie Diamond

                                        Man, I totally agree! We just ate there for lunch this afternoon. We got two cold sandwiches, my husband got the BLT, which he said was great and I got the cold meatloaf, which was maybe too good - not as old-school 1950's homogenous kitchy as I was hoping for. The bigger problem was that the music was SOOOOOOOOOOO loud that we could hardly hear each other talk and the service (shall we say) has some kinks. It took us about 20 minutes to get our (repeat) cold sandwiches and when we did get them, they did not add the mayo to the meatloaf as I had requested. While we were there, two EMTs had to cancel their order because the whole thing was taking too long. We'll have to try it again in a few weeks...

                                        1. re: Jellybelly

                                          Ha! I was the guy in the blue Shay's shirt.

                                          Those guys asked if their sandwiches were 30 seconds from being finished and I felt like venting to them as to how long I had waited.

                                        2. re: Ernie Diamond

                                          Tried the muffaletta and LOVE the flavor, yes, reminds me of Central Grocer, but the bread is terrible. Too thick and dry. Not much flavor. Here's what I propose, put All Star's muffaletta on Chacarero bread. C'mon, it's a marriage made in heaven!

                                          By the way, I think they did a GREAT job with the space and service was quick and super friendly (around 12:30pm).

                                        3. Since they have rippers, I'll probably be able to overlook sloppy service and wrapping. ;-b

                                          I can't wait to get to this place!

                                          1. My Gobbler wasn't quite as good. Cranberry was great, the turkey itself was kind of dry. There's at least 15 other things on the menu which I need to try though, I'll be back.

                                            1. Got 2 sammies to go tonight, and my experience was consistent with most of the above. Made it to the counter pre-dinner-rush at 5:30, and there was chaos in the kitchen with only two tables seated and one other party awaiting takeout. Twice a server came out with food that no one had ordered, and the manager had to come out 10 minutes after I'd ordered to retake my order. No big deal, and they get a pass for only being open a few days, but still...

                                              Muffaletta was superb, alto I must confess to never having eaten the real deal; I was hoping for a bit more kick from the olive salad, but I can't complain--sucker was tasty. Wife's Monte Cristo was very good, but they forgot to add the peach jam; luckily we have plenty in the home 'fridge. The hot meatloaf sandwich is next on my list.

                                              1. We arrived around the same time as you, garlic breath, and noticed similar chaos. My muffaletta was super ... the roll was too crusty for my liking but that's a personal preference. DH said his reuben was quite good, but he didn't blather on, the way I have come to expect.

                                                Agree with posters above that the music is too loud, but I did happen to like all the selections they played.

                                                We will be back for gobbler, po boy, and meat loaf.

                                                    1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                      Your enthusiasm for the Rippers is clear. How do they compare?

                                                      1. re: Ernie Diamond

                                                        They have to be better than the rippers at rutts hut. I went there last month, and while it was good, it was not worth the drive. Plain hot dog on a sub par bun. Yes they are cheap, but you could do much better


                                                        1. re: gutterman

                                                          eh, it's a simple pleasure. A deep fried, well done, burst open, snappy hot dog with good homemade relish glopped in all the fissures and cracks left by the hot oil. I think it's comfort food for someone who grew up craving it. Most outsiders probably wonder what the big deal is.

                                                          1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                            So have you or anyone tried them at ASSB ?? Lots of excitement about them being on the menu but how do they compare?

                                                    2. There should be no chopped egg in chopped chicken liver itself. I agree with InmanSQ Girl. Or is the egg she is referring to simply a separate element of the sandwich. Why don't they call it hard boiled egg instead of "hard cooked"?

                                                      Minor complaint. I hate PDF files since you can't cut and paste the contents directly into another file for quick and easy reference. Aside from legal documents, PDF files should be banned. Any webdesigner who regularly uses them ought to be.... fill in the blank. They are almost as bad as Macromedia Flash websites.

                                                      When I go to a site, I want just the facts, not bells and whistles.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: VivreManger

                                                        Not unusual to add a small amount of very finely chopped hard boiled egg and heavily caramelized onion to authentic jewish-deli-style chopped liver.

                                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                                          It may be not unusual, but the egg is not why I get chopped liver. Carmelized onion, schmaltz, and salt, are the ideal additions to chicken liver.

                                                          Don't get me started on egg in potato salad. Bottom line I don't like egg in any salad except hard-boiled in nicoise and as part of an emulsion such as mayonnaise.

                                                        2. re: VivreManger

                                                          Vivre, yes you CAN copy/paste using Adobe Acrobat Reader into a Word file. When you open the PDF file, choose the "Select Text" button, and copy what you want into Word/Excel, whatever. For instance, I just copied the following:

                                                          SandwicheS - cOLd
                                                          Tuna “A La Minute” (Paris, France)
                                                          Chunked White, Your Call
                                                          (Onions, Celery, Capers, Pickle Relish, Mayo, Curry, Raisins) ........... $7.50
                                                          Da All Star Bomb a.k.a. The Clogger
                                                          Brisket, Tongue, House Pastrami, Chopped Chicken Liver, Swiss
                                                          Cheese and Applewood Smoked Bacon with Creole Mustard
                                                          on Oversized Pumpernickel .............................................................. $14.50

                                                          The formatting might be a bit off, but that's easily remedied with a bit of quick formatting.

                                                        3. Judging from the other postings, I had pretty high expectations for these samiches. To start, the service was beyond incompetent. With only a short line, it took nearly twenty minutes just to place an order. It was another five minutes and four tries for them to pour a beer that wasn't half foam. Prices are a little on the high side, nine smackers for a bare lonely Reuben and two bucks for a lousy bag of Cape Cod chips (where am I - Fenway?). The food actually came pretty quickly, at least mine did - my Reuben was on a rye-like bread which was dripping in butter. The "corned" beef was more like grey mystery meat or poorly cooked brisket and greazy as hell. My friend ordered the Pastraminator, which came about ten minutes after mine. The Pastrami was cut really thickly and not all that tasty. They did give out some samples of the Chili, which was pretty tasty, an all shredded meat affair.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Mr.Og

                                                            Yeah, not much of a shock. It seems that the most one could say about the place at this point is that when it's on, it's great. When it's off, it's WAYYY off.

                                                            They're just down the street for me. I'll hit them up from time to time, I'm sure but I have my fingers crossed that they pull it together.

                                                            1. re: ontherocks

                                                              I think that the general tone of the postings on this subject is one of hope. Seeing as how it is a five minute walk from me, I would LOVE to have a new spot for lunch that I truely thought was as good as it could be. The Sandwich Bar is new and while it is still working out the kinks, it could be markedly better within an afternoon with minimal effort.

                                                              I think that most everyone who has posted on this subject is hoping for the best.

                                                              ...and let's face it; incompetent is incompetent. If there are twelve people behind the counter and it still takes twenty minutes to get a cold sandwich, there is a gap in execution somewhere along the line.

                                                            2. Well, after one visit I'm still hoping to love the place, but my actual first sandwich was not really remarkable. I had the muffaletta. The bread was kinda dry, and there was too little filling relative to the bread. My wife had a tuna melt, which was well melted but a bit thin. The homemade lemonade was pretty ordinary. I'll try a couple more things before I begin passing judgment, but for these prices Hi-Rise already does *great* sandwiches without making a huge self-congratulatory deal about it, so All-Star has their work cut out for them.

                                                              1. Ummmm ... dunno if they decided they had some kinks to work out or something, but at 7 PM tonight, the chairs were inverted on the tables, two employees were inside with some papers spread out on one of the tables, and a hand-written sign on the door said, "Sorry, we're closed, see ya Tuesday."

                                                                Seems strange.


                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: BJK

                                                                  With such mixed reviews, which I'm willing to bet lots Schlesinger's aware of and concerned about, they may very well be giving themselves a crash course in kink-fixing.

                                                                  1. re: tatamagouche

                                                                    word on the street is that they ran out of food for Saturday night.

                                                                    1. re: ponyboy

                                                                      Ran out of food for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday on Saturday? My knee-jerk reaction on Saturday was "maybe they ran out of food" and then immediately thought "naaaaaaaah."


                                                                      1. re: BJK

                                                                        well, they don't open on Sundays and most vendors probably don't deliver on a Monday holiday.

                                                                2. When I was there, several items were "sold out". Here's hoping this place can get their act together, and quick.

                                                                  1. The main story in the Globe food section today is on All Star Sandwich (I was tempted to use an acronym but thought better of it).

                                                                    Looks like Alison Arnett visited last week. Some references to their attempts to get the process right and sandwiches consistent.


                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: ChefOfTheFuture

                                                                      At any rate, my point was, this is Schlesinger we're talking about...by all appearances one of those chefs we can trust not to sell out/deliver an inferior product. Like Ernie Diamond, I have faith the kinks'll straighten out...
                                                                      Remember how horribly we were all drooling 2 weeks ago; our expectations were so high, but it may take time before (if) they're met...

                                                                    2. at this point i've tried a couple things here, and while the sandwiches are good i still have yet to try anything that's on a par with the marinated pork loin sandwich at o cantinho just up the street.

                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                      1. re: passing thru

                                                                        Is that sandwich available at dinner?

                                                                        1. re: Dax

                                                                          no, i don't believe it is since they switched to being more of a dinner place. i think you have to get it at lunch now...

                                                                          1. re: passing thru

                                                                            Isn't this essentially a larger and fancier version of a bifana? Their steak sandwich is such of a beef prego. Seasonings vary, but available at night at J+J's and I think the Neighborhood. The Snack Bar is also pretty good, but their spicing is a bit heavier on the colorau, J+J's has a nice bite to it. Also febras de porco is another inexpensive thin pork chop dish with the same basic marinade.

                                                                            1. re: itaunas

                                                                              Can you say a bit more about the beef prego? I always looked at it on the J&J menu but don't know what it is ...

                                                                              1. re: itaunas

                                                                                Prego no pao and bifana no pao are served all over Lisbon (and presumably portugal). It is a marinated steak or marinated pork loin/cutlet quickly grilled or fried and served on a portuguese roll or french bread. In bakeries or cafes you will see stacks of these and it is usually a small serving, meant to take the edge off your hunger. The marinade will vary, but is usually some combination garlic, wine, colorau (paprika) or a red-pepper based rub, salt, possibly vinegar and piri piri pepper, and maybe olive oil. There are variations -- c/cebola with onions, grelhada means grilled, I have seen it with lettuce, but its often plain, you can often ask for an egg on top... and the Snack Bar "Portuguese Man of War" uses a couple pieces of the bifana pork (along with ham, american cheese, and egg). The word prego means "nail" and I have heard a couple of explainations about this (pounding the meat with garlic, just pounding the meat, etc) so don't know what it means. As far as I know bifana just refers to the pork cut, although I am not certain (bisteca in Brazil refers to a thin cut pork chop, where as febras is the name of the dish made with the same cut)

                                                                                I like the version at J+J which I believe is grilled and is a bit spicy, the snack bar is pretty acceptable with more dry paprika. I think Casal has their version in the sandwich case and I would consider O cantinho to serve their own variants of this which are also recommended. The bar at Sunset might offer it, as do some of the portuguese clubs. I haven't seen it either at the market at Pearl and Cross St or Broadway in somerville.

                                                                        2. MAYO ON A CUBAN???????? That's just plain wrong. I ordered it walking home from the T at Central so I didnt have a menu on me so I didnt know they put mayo on it. Next time, I will make sure they put mustard on it. As far as the service, they are very friendly with each person working at about 200%. But the kitchen area is not large enough to supplement in a timely and organized fashion the massive hoards of patrons a new restaurant attracts. I think once the novelty wears off and they get into their groove, it will improve. I will definately go back when I have some extra discretionary income
                                                                          to afford a sandwich a little shy of $10.00

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: amiris12000

                                                                            I prefer them with mustard too. However, there is another, lunatic, contingent of Cubans, I think in Tampa, who use mayo in their sandwiches. So, there is precedent.

                                                                          2. Gee, I've only ever had Cuban Sandwiches in Boston. They always seem to have mayo! I had one there yesterday, and it seemed dry and small. Gilled to a nice buttery crispness, the meat was good quality, the pickles were just ... there. But for close to $10 for a sandwich - I'll probably go to Chez Henri. On the other hand, I want to try the rippers and a Muffeleta - when I'm felling flush!

                                                                            1. Yeah, but how's the pastrami?

                                                                              1. I've seen mayo on Cuban sandwiches at a few places, but my Cuban-American friends in South Florida say it should be yellow mustard only. I remember at least one place in Miami that added some kind of coleslaw-like dressing to the classic ham, roast pork, Swiss, dill pickles, and yellow mustard.

                                                                                Miami Cafe in the South End offers lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo, but the owners are Dominican, not Cuban. These are sometimes added on request, sometimes by default, so be explicit when you order. Having gotten them accidentally by default once, I personally don't think it's a good idea.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                  9 times out of 10 they ask me what I want on the Cubanos at Miami Cafe. Sometimes I want mustard and pickles only, sometimes I want other things that make it a non-traditional Cubano but still a tasty sandwich (lettuce, onions, mayo). Careful, if you ask for "everything" they sometimes put ketchup on it.

                                                                                2. My friend and I went tonight. Got the Rachel and the BLT. Sandwiches were great. And large- we each took half home with us. Service was a mess. Waitress was awful. Not nly was my order not quite what I asked for, but when we asked her for ketchup for the fries we ordered, she insisted we had some. We asked where and she picked up a bottle of steak sauce. We said "that's not ketchup" and she said yes it is. We ended up asking our neighboring table if we could use their ketchup.

                                                                                  I will go back, but hope the service improves quickly