Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Oct 17, 2006 09:24 PM

Allstar Sandwich Bar over rated!

Ok second time at the ASB here's the thing lots of style not much substance. had the cuban not bad not great rather bland no cheese mango mayo lacked character no tried it again so pastrami sliced way to thick maybe three-four 1/4 inch slices of rubbery pastrami the flavour of which was totally overwhelmed by the gobs of whole grain mustard ignoring the time tested rule with any deli type meat slice it thin pile it high use high quality meat and don't try to hide it with to many condaments. the fries where decent although over priced and huge portion for a side of fries neet little trick to up the check average but add nothing to the value and customer experience 15 Bucks for a bad pastrami and fries and a coke wow if your going to charge a premium price you better deliver a premium product i don't care who own's it it is not an allstar in my book

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. ok not so great on the grammer but i know a good sandwich when i taste one and this was not it.

      1. re: Rwarner

        I was just saying it was hard to read (which is hardly snobby, it's a matter of practicality), when in fact your points are valid--and again, you're not alone in expressing them here, since ASSB has yet to please many. Since you probably do indeed know a good sandwich, tell me--where's your fave pastrami sandwich in town? I haven't found one I love myself.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. oh the hype! too many hipster cooks and servers aimlessly wandering around like the zombies in "night of the living dead" while you wait for what turns out to be a very average sandwich. and dont confuse the zombies w/ special requests like "no mayo" because they're not processing information, just preening. i'll go back again, for a laugh. citygirl cafe in inman sq. is better, and cheaper, and hipper, without trying.............

        6 Replies
        1. re: missthebagelsbadly

          chowhound is a great site because we can comment on what we dont like/ what we do like FOODWISE [on this board] there is a NOT ABOUT FOOD BOARD too we have been to ASSB 6+ times now and have NEVER had anything even similar to your experience if we had we wouldnt go back ''for a laugh''

          1. re: kewpie

            I dont see how talking about the service at a boston based establishment belongs on the not about food board. Seems like a perfect spot for it here. Almost every thread talks about not only food but service and atmosphere

            1. re: hargau

              it didnt seem to be about food just service issues/ a slam IMHO i am for commenting good or bad regardless and here i am not talking about food myself!!

              1. re: kewpie

                Service is part of the experience of eating out and most people I know like to know if it sucks.

                1. re: Joanie

                  thank you MichaelB ! sucks it such a strong word good luck!

            2. re: kewpie

              I don't share missthebagels take on the ASSBar (did they really think that name through??), but as hargau pointed out, service at a local restaurant is a legit subject for this board. To clarify, Not About Food is the correct forum for comments about general service issues (tipping, bottled water vs. tap, etc.) that aren't specific to one place.

              I've recently had good (and fast) service at All-Star once I got through the chaos at the non-existent host station. I really like the place but for the life of me I can't understand why they're doing table service rather than counter service (or at least ordering at the counter, then getting a number and having them bring the food and bus the tables). Seems like it would flow better that way.

          2. tatamagouche--
            Just my vote on the pastrami question--the Roumanian pastrami at Zaftig's knocked me out. Kind of crazy fatty (if you like it leaner, their regular pastrami is great too) but just melty, tender and delicious. Definitely raised the bar for me after years of disappointing sandwiches at that other older place on Harvard (blanking on name...) and elsewhere.

            4 Replies
            1. re: greengage

              I second the pastrami at Zaftigs. Not a big fan of much else there, though--I find the place pretty inconsistent. But yup. very good pastrami. Probably better than the All Star, IMHO.

              BTW, the older place...were you thinking of Jack and Marion's?

              1. re: hiddenboston

                Sorry, I thought you were talking about an older place that is no longer around. Sounds like you were talking about Rubin's, though, as BobB mentions here...

                1. re: greengage

                  Are you thinking of Rubin's? They're a poor place for sandwiches, bland and overpriced. Being kosher may account for the price but not the lack of flavor.

                  Michael's Deli makes the best corned beef in town, but I haven't tried their pastrami yet. Can anyone compare it to Zaftig's? Plus I like the size and composition of Michael's sandwiches better than Zaftig's. By composition I mean they take two LARGE slices of good bread and fill them evenly with what must be close to half a pound of top-quality meat - as opposed to the New York approach, somewhat mimicked by Zaftig's, of putting a softball-sized pile of meat in the middle of the bread and leaving the edges bare. Sorry, that's a pet peeve, you may like it but I just find it annoying.

                2. yes--Rubin's! I remember them being good years ago but I think they've been in a long, slow decline. When I saw the signs saying that they offered sushi, I really started to worry...

                  I also had a mixed experience at All-Star. Went with very high expectations but was disappointed by the Texas Reuben--not terribly flavorful brisket, not enough of the promised zingy condiments to make a difference, and the grilled bread was just unpleasantly greasy, as if the grill hadn't been cleaned. Still a nice place--my friends' sandwiches were better and the fries looked amazing, and I'm looking forward to going back, but not the total home-run I was expecting.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: greengage

                    I think there was too much of a buildup for this place. So much hype for it that I'm not surprised that a lot of people are disappointed. I was mildly disappointed, too, but then realized that it's just a sandwich joint, and that my expectations were probably too high, too. Overall, I think it's a good place, though, and I'll definitely go back. I really want to try the beef on weck!

                    1. re: hiddenboston

                      I also think that people are being unfair in terms of expecting this place to be firing on all cylinders so soon after opening. Very few restaurants are able to do so. As I pointed out in a different thread, when R.U.B. opened to tremendous hype in NYC, it was universally panned on Chowhound, and now is univerally considered the best BBQ place in NY.

                      1. re: Blumie

                        I love ECG and respect Schlesinger, but $15 for sandwich, fries, and a coke is pretty steep. The one sanwich I have had in beantown that is close to worth it for that kind of money is a cuban at Chez Henri.

                        1. re: Blumie

                          It is a sandwich place, not a full service restaurant. They should be up to speed by now, IMO. This place is a tremendous let down.

                          1. re: Blumie

                            Sorry, but I must disagree with Blumie. The ASS Bar sought - and recieved - fabulous press around the time of their opening. This indcluded an enormous full-color front page spread in the Globe food page.

                            In light of this kind of hype, the experience has to at least be close to the expectation. As I pointed out in another thread, it wasn't, at least not in my experience. Given the price point, Chris & company had to be ready to deliver from day 1. If it doesn't, then people are going to say so.

                            1. re: Bob MacAdoo

                              Early on I agreed w/ Blumie & said so; I also agree w/ Gabatta that by now any kinks should be worked out, especially by a seasoned restaurateur. Still, maybe you know something I don't about the kind of press they "sought" from the Globe, but we generated plenty of hype right here on this board. I don't know that the restaurateur is responsible for that.
                              Anyway, myself, I'm still not giving up--my one experience there thus far yielded great service and good, not great, grub.

                        2. re: greengage

                          Glad you said that about the sushi because I thought it myself but never heard anyone else say so.

                          Pity there are so many bad experiences at all-star to go with the good ones, as it sounded great, with a great menu of sandwiches.