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All Star Sandwich Bar: a late first look


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All Star Sandwich Bar: a late first look

finlero | Jun 23, 2008 08:53 AM

I can't believe I live nearly within walking distance of the All Star Sandwich Bar, but didn't get there until this past weekend. Regardless, it was perhaps a blessing in disguise to have let the buzz, hype, and chatter die down and let the chow speak for itself. Bottom line: if I had never heard that this was a Schlesinger project, if I had never read post after post after post about it on the Boston board, but had just stumbled in after spotting it while walking in the 'hood, I'd have been really happy with my lunch, as indeed I was in this case. I enjoyed the concept of upscale sandwiches kinda sorta pretending to slum it; ordinarily the faux downscale thing tends to irritate me, but these sandwiches had real personality and soul, so it was easy enough to wink at the wink, so to speak.

Beef on weck - I'd never had one before, so I have no direct points of comparison, but I really liked this sandwich. Crusty roll with some nice savory herbs baked on top. Horseradish and au jus served on the side. Deliciously rare roast beef. This was everything a sandwich is supposed to be: not too many ingredients, and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Turkey melt - turkey, bacon, avocado, watercress, and gruyere on toasted bread. A big, greasy mess of deliciousness, this tasted just like I want my day after Thanksgiving to taste. I loved that they used both white and dark turkey meat (I want to *taste* the turkey), and must also say the watercress was an inspired choice of green, not overpowering, but hearty enough to stand up to some not-especially-dainty other ingredients.

Poutine - quite good gravy and cheese curds, but the small cut fries got soggy quickly. It's always a treat to find this on a menu outside of Quebec, so although I've had much better, this hit sufficiently close to the spot that I'll brand it Worth the Calories.

Coleslaw - I can't say I'm much of a coleslaw fan in general, and although I was pleased the ASSBar didn't try anything fancy with theirs, I didn't especially enjoy it.

So if you haven't been, I'd say it's probably not worth a pilgrimage from miles away, but if you find yourself near Inman at lunchtime, this can make for a very, very tasty spur-of-the-moment meal.

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