"The bread is basically just a barrier between your hands and the massive pile of meat you’re devouring."
When top-notch chefs take on low-brow projects, the results can be hit or miss. Anyone respected for his work in the kitchen should be able to work magic with simpler culinary forms. But too often, those accustomed to higher-end fare might have a hard time learning the language of the pizza, say, or the hot dog, or the burger—turning out over-thought, overpriced dishes that lose the spirit of the original.
What's important is the match between creator and concept. And in that respect, the All-Star Sandwich Bar, on Inman Square in Cambridge, succeeds wildly.
The casual corner sandwich joint opened in 2006 under the direction of noted Boston-area chef Chris Schlesinger and partner Jim Economides. Though an acclaimed chef, Schlesinger was never a particularly fussy one. His flagship restaurant East Coast Grill is the sort of place where Wellfleet oysters, piles of Texas-style brisket and mouth-searing chicken wings sit side-by-side. Far more concerned with flavor than formality, his mentality translates well to sandwiches. And to a friendly, no-frills, sandwich factory with as many diners-in as takers-out.