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All Star Sandwich? Any new updates?

Buzz on this place has just about died out. I was wondering if any recent diners have been more satisfied with the epxerience, especially the service issues.

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  1. The All Star Sandwich Bar? Is that place still around? :-D

    I've driven by it a couple of times lately and it looked pretty empty. I liked it the one time I went, but it is what it is (a sandwich joint). Personally, I'd rather go to Barry's in Waban or Strip T's in Watertown for my sandwich fix.

    1. I've been 3 or 4 times in total, and while my first visit, about a month after they opened, was a bit of a zoo, I still only waited about 15 minutes to be seated, and have never experienced the kinds of disasters that I've read about on the board. All in all I've had numerous excellent sandwiches, terrific fries, and a very good burger, and would not hesitate to go back.

      BK

      2 Replies
      1. re: BJK

        ooh, you had the burger! I'd been waiting to hear a report on it.

        1. re: tamerlanenj

          Link to my review of the burger here:

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/343039

          :
          )BK

      2. I was there a couple of weeks ago on a weeknight after a failed attempt at reaching Chez Henri's for a cubano -- parking was impossible. Parking in Inman went much better and since I was in a specifically sandwichy mood, All-Star's it was.

        There were only a few other patrons there so no wait and fine service. And the meals were just as expected -- my cubano was not CH quality but more than adequately kicked the craving. DC's mahi mahi with some kind of fruity relish was also solidly prepared, and the fries it came with were crispy and hot and delicious. Oh, the houndly highlight of the meal was the clam chowder we shared -- smoky, bacony, clammy, creamy, thick enough without being gluey. If I lived in the neighborhood, I'd definitely eat there more often for just that kind of casual meal with a decent beer to wash it down.

        1. A friend of mine who works in Kendall Square says he eats at ASSBAR (love that acronym) at least twice a week, and has never had the horrible seating/order problems people were complaining of early on.

          1. Do they still run out of Beef on Weck by dinner most nights? That's why I've not been back. I want only that sandwich and I can't get there for lunch (though I'm trying).

            1 Reply
            1. re: maillard

              I was there for dinner on Tuesday night and ordered the Beef on Weck. The meat serving was generous, the jus was on the side and the service was attentive. There were only about 4 other couples in the place at 7 pm.

            2. I wasn't impressed with my Beef on Weck... the jus from the beef soaked through the Weck, leaving me with one of those soggy beef messes that falls apart in your hands, and you end up eating with a knife & fork? That was about a month ago, I haven't been back. Drove by there today though, ~ 1pm, and there were plenty of people there...

              3 Replies
              1. re: okra

                I've had the beef and weck a number of times (both in-house and take-out) but never encountered that problem. It's always been served in a "french dip" style to avoid any sogginess. The bread, especially the top, comes out incredibly crispy, almost crunchy.

                The Beef on Weck is on the permanent menu, so it's there every night, at least until they run out.

                1. re: okra

                  Whenever I've had the Beef on Weck there, they provide a bowl of the jus so I can add as much (or as little) as I want.

                  I happen to love that sammy.

                  1. re: okra

                    I had the beef on weck and thought it was great, the roll was perfect IMO, the beef portion good. This was a couple of months ago so, when they were still frantic, so I had to ask for jus on the side - good to hear they do this routinely now.

                  2. I've been 3 or 4 times in the past month, usually in the midafternoon on a weekday, and the service has been consistently excellent. Everyone inside is super friendly, and on all occasions the staff has been particularly attentive.

                    I've had the beef on weck a couple of times, which I love, but my favorite is the texas reuben. And I always get the chili and the sweet pickles, which are both always outstanding.

                    What strikes me about these sandwiches is that they actually taste BETTER with each bite -- and no matter how full you are at the end of the meal, the last few bites are somehow the best. There are few other sandwiches where I've had the same experience (Darwin's Story comes to mind).

                    Clearly, I'm still a fan of the place.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: wags

                      Much of the excitement, for me, stemmed from the sheer variety (in contradiction to my usual feeling about jack-of-all-trades menus). Are you suggesting that the switch to the current smaller selection was a smart move? and/or Has the place in fact improved?

                      1. re: tatamagouche

                        No -- actually, that's the biggest problem I have with the place. Last time, the two or three sandwiches I wanted were not available, and I ended up getting the Beef on Weck. I do wish they had the full menu every day, and ultimately the fact that they don't may prevent me from going as much as I might have.

                        Can't really comment on improvement, since the first time I went was about a month ago.

                    2. I've eaten there twice with mixed results. The beet sandwich and beef on weck both left me feeling underwhelmed - the beef being dry and the beets a tad mushy. The clam chowder was wonderful - really rich and creamy with tons of clams in the soup. The mac & cheese is great as well. My favorite though so far has been Elsie's roast beef, which is my new favorite guilty pleasure.

                      1. Has anybody had the Muffaletta, do they ever offer an Oyster Po'Boy, as a special, & finally, does everyone agree with "Dizzied" on the Cubano?

                        1. I've had the muffaletta and did not find it particularly great. However, never having the real thing, it's hard for me to judge.

                          Two large pieces of bread, about 3 slices of meat and a layer of the olive salad about the same thickness as 3 slices of meat. Ratio of bread to meat in inches: 4 to .125

                          My other visits to ASSBAR have been excellent. Texas Reuben and Pastriminator + gravy fries + beer. An excellent combo.

                          1. I found photos of ASSBAR muffuletta here:
                            http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Photo...

                            And the original fron central Grocery here:
                            http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Photo...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hargau

                              Wow, thanks for the legwork, "hargau". I've had a Central "Muff" but twice. At 6'3" & well...let's just say 200#'s is WAY back in the rear views, it's a daunting sandwich. Like the plop, plop, fizz, fizz sez; "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!" It's one of those Hound travel memories that is absolutely hard-wired.

                            2. I tried the Muffaletta, having an original in New Orleans, and was very disappointed. Very soggy.
                              I haven't been back since.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: janzy

                                Hi "Janzy", we all certainly hope, and are sure you meant, ASSBAR not N'awlins hasn't seen your shadow since. Afterall. they need the tourism down there. LOL

                              2. The problem with the All Star muffaletta is that it's made fresh and served on scali bread. A real muffaletta is made in advance on a big round loaf, then wrapped in plastic and pressed to marry the flavors. All Star's muffaletta ends up being limp and soggy, with the flavors too scattered, not truly married to one another.

                                BK

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: BJK

                                  the muffaletta that I had was served on a round loaf but was not pressed and was entirely lacking in meat compared to the pictures posted by hargau, the kitchen staff must have been slacking that day.

                                2. i too bitched and moaned early on, but they have pretty much cleaned up their act. in my opinion, the food was never the problem: it was the service and order taking that was screwed up, along with a kitchen staff that just seemed to mill around. someone cracked the whip and things are much improved

                                  1. I've just started a job at five minutes' walk from ASSB (after having waited forever for the place to open, then somehow never getting over there--I blame Emma's). I went in four days this week for the half sandwich plus soup or salad. Wish you weren't restricted to "half sandwich of the day"--once it was even the same sandwich two days in a row (I opted for a bowl of kale soup the second day--delicious, incidentally). This week it'll be time to start trying whole sandwiches. Counter staff has been nice, take-out wait short, lunch crowd respectable in size and cheerily pan-Cambridge in aspect. (They do have a veggie sandwich of day now, to address a complaint on an earlier thread.) And it's a perfect pairing with Christina's, of course. I believe it will stay.

                                    1. I work in Kendall Sq and eat at the All-Star at least once a week. So far the highlights for me are the fish po' boy on Fridays- not too greasy, good batter on the fish, good spicy aioli, and the meatloaf - great spicy onion chutney, good meatloaf. a little greasy but delicious.

                                      One day they had a fried chicken, american cheese and applesauce sandwich on white bread... I would eat this every day, and die happy.

                                      The fries and chili are also not to be missed.

                                      1. I've had lunch there 4-5 times and have been happy every time. Service is fine for a sandwich bar, not perfect, but friendly and polite. Sandwiches are great - I've had the Cubano, Pastrami, Beef on Weck, and a few others, and I've liked the soups I've had too - especially a good fish chowder one day.

                                        I've never been for dinner, just casual lunches, but I'm a big fan of the place so far.