Monday, August 8, 2011

All Star Sandwich Bar

Local ingredients. Bubbly personalities. Innovative menu items. Welcome to All Star Sandwich Bar.

Last weekend, Z and I biked over to the Inman Square sandwich shop for lunch. The generous folks at All Star had invited us to come in and try some of their menu items – although Z and I had dined there before, we were excited to try some of their new creations (their menu changes frequently, thanks to the local/seasonal ingredients they use).

We had just beat the Sunday rush, and got seated right away. The tiny eatery was packed, but we were assured by our waiter – and Johnny Diamantopoulos, the co-owner and chef – that it was a slow time of year for them. The crowd was not too surprising, however – the staff and atmosphere at All Star Sandwich Bar are ultra inviting, and the open kitchen, chalkboard menus and free Oreos (on your way out) don’t hurt, either.

Since it was about 100 degrees outside on this particular day, Z and I eagerly ordered Arnold Palmers ($2.50) to sip with our meals. 


For our appetizer, we ordered the fried pickles, which were a special for that day. 


These were plump, delicious fried pickles. The breading held tight to the still-crisp, hot pickles, and the accompanying cool, zesty sauce complemented the chips beautifully.

For our side, we got the Pile of Fries ($3.95), which were thin, perfectly salted and dangerously addictive. 


For our sandwiches, we went with two of the few vegetarian options on the menu (our waiter actually told us he doesn’t “get” vegetarians – so meat eaters, expect some meaty creations. Vegetarians, the Grilled Falafel Burger ($8.95) is also delish). I opted for the vegetarian special of the day while Z got the Veggie Cubano ($8.95), made with grilled eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, roasted peppers, portobello mushrooms, Jack cheese, Swiss cheese, cilantro aioli and Dijon mustard. I really liked how the chef knew we’d be sharing and gave each of us a plate with half of each sandwich (complete with homemade coleslaw and a deli pickle). 


The cubano was just how it should be - warm, bursting with gooey cheese, and filled to the brim with delicious ingredients - while the cheese acted as the "glue" to prevent the sandwich from falling apart with each bite. My sandwich was also fantastic, but the creamy, zesty sauce that was slathered inside of it stole the show. Due to the hot temperatures on this particular Sunday, Z and I favored my sandwich the most out of the two because it was lighter on the stomach and served cold.

Overall, our experience at All Star Sandwich Bar was a positive one. I love chef Johnny's devotion to local and seasonal sources, and his innovative culinary ideas. Him and his brother own the shop, and have really found a way to take their niche and turn it into something pretty incredible (and popular, based off the Sunday lunch crowd we saw). Stay tuned, because in October (tentatively) Johnny and his brother are opening a pizza shop right across the street from their current Sandwich Bar. Be prepared for the same passion, just behind a different food.

Johnny also admitted to us that he’s looking for new sandwich ideas – personally, I’d love to see some crazy-delicious grilled cheeses or egg salad sandwiches on their menu. What sandwich(es) would you love All Star Sandwich Bar to have on their menu?

All Star Sandwich Bar on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: All Star Sandwich Bar was kind enough to let Z and I enjoy our meals for free. Despite their generosity, the views expressed in this post are honest and 100 percent my own. 


5 comments:

  1. LOVE All-Star Sandwich Bar...and their fries are really good!

    ReplyDelete
  2. those pickles - I want some!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You were right in my neighborhood! We go to All Star all the time. Shockingly, I've never tried the two sandwiches you guys ordered. I love to pick something off the specials menu. They come up with the most creative sandwich ideas. The BLT is probably my favorite off the regular menu.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love the restaurants at Inman Square! I will try that veggie cubano next time!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I used to live up the street from All Star and my roommates and I went at least once a weekend. Check out my review from one of my last visits: http://popbopshop.blogspot.com/2010/01/dining-out-all-star-sandwich-bar.html

    ReplyDelete