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All Star Sandwich - Has anyone Tried the Burger Yet?

I'm wondering if anyone has had the All Star's burger yet. The description sounded incredibly promising, with a very high fat content.

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  1. Not yet, but I can't wait to try it! BTW, we drove by it yesterday evening around 8:00 and the place was nearly empty. Perhaps the buzz has died down a bit.

    I didn't realize that they took over the old Cafe China storefront. Did Cafe China close for good, or did they move? They weren't all that bad a place, as I recall (I went there several years ago).

    1. I went there 2 days ago and tried to order the burger but they had not integrated it into the menu. They did not say when the burger would be available. The place was half empty, just before 7. Had the bbq pork sandwich, which was ok. The fries were greasy, as if the first frying had been done with too low of a temperature. The waitress noticed that I didn't really eat the fries and asked if I hadn't liked them. When I said no,not really she took them off my bill.

      I think they're still having growing pains. Their chili is worth trying.

      1 Reply
      1. re: smari

        Man, that's wierd. Not integrated into the menu? I hope this place gets its act together soon.

      2. I was there last week and they told me the entire dinner section was off-limits.

        I like the chili too, but it could have been hotter (temp-wise, I added some Tabasco for more spice). I had the beef-on-weck, which was great, though I felt like it was a little simple compared to my alternatives - I found it hard to choose.

        My friend and I also shared the fries which were enormous, and really great.

        1. Beef on weck with extra horseradish is calling my name.

          whimper

          1. You know, with all due respect to everyone who's tried this place and posted, if this weren't affiliated with Chris Schlesinger / ECG (sp?), wouldn't we chowhounds have pronounced it as "pretty sucky" by now?!

            I have been monitoring the threads since it opened and most of the reports have been fair-to-middlin' at best.

            Can we agree that the fella who is partnered with Chris on this venture is doing a crappy job?

            8 Replies
            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              I'd say the reviews have been mixed, with lots of positive feedback for some sandwiches.

              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                I believe that Chris's rep is giving the place a boost. People know his other restaurants and are willing to give ASSB a second chance whereas a no-name place might not get such forgiving clientele. It's a double edged sword though, lots of excitement and business but overly inflated expectations as well.

                I haven't been yet, I tried last weds for lunch but it was packed. I love the idea and the (ambitious) menu as well. A little expensive to be a regular lunch joint though.

                Maybe Chris should send the staff to work at Bob's in Medford for a week or so. Those guys know how to move sandwiches in a hurry!

                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  I think sucky would be a little harsh, but I agree that they haven't met their potential yet. I was very happy with the pulled pork sandwich I had (a relative bargain at $5.50, by the way), though the BLT I had on another visit was good (excellent tomatoes, wonder what they'll do in the middle of winter) but not a big wow. I think a lot of the complaints so far have been about wait-time and overwhelmed staff, and the most recent reports seem better on that front.

                  I agree with horrible that the Chris factor is both raising expectations but also making some of us more forgiving of their growing pains. I do think that they've set themselves a really ambitious agenda: not just to make excellent sandwiches, but to have an entire menu of regional sandwiches that are usually the sole specialty of places that make them -- beef on weck, rippers, po' boys, etc. -- where much of the prep has to be done to order, not in advance. I imagine that requires a more coordinated, restaurant-style kitchen than any of the other fancy sandwich places around here. I think if they do pull it off at the level of consistency that ECG maintains it will be pretty impressive.

                  Oh, by the way, the fastest sandwich-makers I've EVER seen are at the New York Deli in Waltham. The sandwiches are fine, nothing special, but the efficiency is mind-boggling.

                  1. re: MichaelB

                    MichaelB, I agree with you about New York Deli. I've learned not to be concerned when I pull up there at lunch and see a line out the door- I've never waited longer than 5 minutes. When you want an inexpensive sandwich the way you want it and you want it fast, I can always count on NYDeli to hit the spot.

                  2. re: Bob Dobalina

                    One of the partners, Jim Economides, was a cook at Zuni Cafe (which was a descendant of Chez Panisse). That's where most of my high expectation comes from, given how superb I remember Zuni to be. But as with all things, it's best to try it and decide without the hype and all. I'm hoping to try it soon, once it has settled down.

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      Schlesinger seemed pretty involved with it when I was there. I figure it's a new place under our Chow-spotlight, because of Chris the hitches will get worked out and it'll be good to great.

                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                        after having gone a few times now, my overall review wouldn't be that it was "pretty sucky" or "crappy", but that it's a decent addition to the inman sq. area that isn't really worth going out of the way for. living close by, i'm glad it's there. but i sure wouldn't make a special trip or anything.

                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                          This place just opened. Regardless of Chris S.'s involvement, it's only fair to give them time. Do a search of R.U.B. when it first opened to great fanfare in NYC. The initial reviews could not have been worse. Now, about a year later, it is consistently reported on the Manhattan board to be NYC's best barbecue.

                        2. Do they have a Chicago Italian Beef? My buddy Chicago Jack has been forced to try and recreate his own version (which is, uh, not working out too well).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Bostonbob3

                            Man, Italian beef would be killer.

                          2. Blue Ribbon has a chicago italian beef which is good but I'm not sure how authentic.

                            1. Just went for the 1st time today, and I'm glad I waited until now. Overall, the experience was very good, with many more high points than low, but still a few kinks.

                              The place was jumping around noon on a Saturday, but we were still seated immediately upon entering, given water and menus, a description of the soup of the day and sandwich of the day, and taken our order promptly. The wait for our food was a little longer than I'd have liked, probably 15 - 20 minutes, though I think we got the short straw for some reason, as the table next to us ordered after we did and got their food before we did.

                              The food overall was great, with only one disappointment, the muffaletta. Maybe holding it to the Central Grocery standard was my mistake, as the cold cuts themselves and the olive salad were both very tasty. But assembling that sandwich to order and serving it on sliced scali just doesn't quite compare to the traditional sandwich served on a flat, round roll, assembled ahead of time and pressed to marry the flavors. All in all, an enjoyable sandwich nontheless, but next time I'll go for a Texas Reuben, a Cuban, or maybe the Atomic Meatloaf.

                              My wife's grilled cheese was much better. Nice crispy griddled rye bread with thick, meaty bacon, gooey swiss and thousand island dressing. Yum.

                              Both sandwiches were served with their terrific bread and butter pickles.

                              On the side, we had a very beefy, flavorful, slightly spicy chili, spiked with cheese, sour cream, red onion, cilantro and lime, with a huge hunk of corn bread, both of which were exceptional. We also had a huge pile of truly excellent fries, hand cut, thin and crispy, with little bits of skin left on here and there and not the least bit greasy.

                              Overall a very good experience, with dozens of other menu items I'm looking forward to returning for.

                              BK