Bryan and I are polar opposites when it comes to the way we eat.
Bryan never snacks; eats three square meals a day right on time (ahem, that is, if you count a cup of espresso as breakfast); and demands a proper, “real” meal for dinner. No sandwiches for dinner, please.
I’m the complete opposite. I love snacking throughout the day. In fact, my ideal day would consist of little bites every two hours or so. I don’t have any such “no sandwiches” rule. In fact, I’m a sucker for casual street foods and love exploring them when I travel.
Imagine my delight when I found out about All Star Sandwich Bar’s month long special on street foods. Each week features a new specials menu full of sandwiches inspired by global street foods. Some menu items are obvious “sandwich-like” options, like banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), whereas other items are more esoteric interpretations, like the tofu pad thai sandwich.
The owners are Greek brothers, so it’s no surprise that they would have a classic Greek sandwich, the chicken schawarma (known as gyros in Greece), on their menu. This particular version has grilled chicken breast, lettuce, mint, feta cheese, citrus yogurt, charred tomato-cucumber relish, and mango tahini sauce.
The pita is nice and thick, very reminiscent of the fresh kind I saw in Greece. Frankly, I think many of the flavors (such as the mango or the citrus), are pretty subtle. This sandwich was reasonably tasty enough, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the amazing gyros I had in Greece. These are still a far cry from the best ones I had in Greece, but they are definitely better than a typical Greek gyro you’d find at many local grinders here in Boston.
Jamaican Jerk Fried Chicken
The Jamaican Jerk fried chicken sandwich consists of hot sauce-buttermilk fried chicken drizzled with spicy habanero mango pineapple jam, applewood smoked bacon, jack cheese, watercress, red onions, and coconut ranch dressing on grilled sourdough bread. It was quite flavorful, although a bit too sweet and salty for me. I’m not sure how much I cared for the creamy dressing on the watercress, though it probably helped cut the strong flavors (e.g., spicy, salty, and sweet!) of the sandwich.
Kentucky Hot Brown
What is a Kentucky Hot Brown?
The Hot Brown Sandwich was invented at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in 1926 by Fred K. Schmidt. The original Hot Brown was an open-faced sandwich consisting of oven roasted turkey, bacon, and Parmesan cheese baked with white bread and topped with Mornay sauce (a béchamel sauce with shredded cheese such as Gruyere and/or Parmesan). At the time, sliced roasted turkey was usually reserved for Thanksgiving, so the idea of using it in a sandwich was quite novel and unique. The Hot Brown became insanely popular and quickly became the top choice for most diners at the hotel (95% of orders!).
Although I’ve never had a real Hot Brown, I must say that the version at All Star is excellent. It was by far both of our favorites out of the three sandwiches that we tried. We loved the use of French toast for the bread. All Star’s version also has thick-cut oven roasted turkey breast, along with arugula, vine-ripen tomatoes, applewood smoked bacon (also thick cut!), sharp cheddar cheese, and herbed Mornay sauce. It’s fantastic and we both loved it.
Bryan said, “I would totally order that one again.”
From Mr. “No Sandwiches for Dinner” guy? That’s quite a compliment!
Like I mentioned before, the Global Street Foods specials change every week. On the one hand, it’s fun to keep trying new ones. On the other hand, it’s rough to see your favorites go.
Grilled Cilantro Lime Corn
We tried a couple classic sides, such as the grilled cilantro lime corn, which was fine, though the unevenly scattered cheese on top meant that some bites were much more flavorful than others.
I loved the hush puppies, which are jalapeno filled fried corn fritters served with a tabasco remoulade. They were crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, and definitely had a kick from the jalapenos! I’m pretty sure we polished off that entire plate.
7 layer bar
We were offered a 7-layer bar for dessert. I believe the bottom layer is a graham cracker crust (1), which is then topped with condensed milk (2), chocolate chips (3), peanuts (4), white chocolate chips (5), coconut flakes (6), and maybe butterscotch chips?? (7)
It was crazy sweet. I guess I can see why the server kept trying to offer us milk (are you sure you don’t want some milk?). If only I had listened. It was OK, but I personally wasn’t a huge fan, mostly because of the crazy amounts of sugar!
All in all, we had a fun time trying out the Global Street Food specials. I’m curious to see what sandwiches they come up with next. Supposedly they did a banh mi last week, and will be doing a Big Mac next. I’m sure they’ve got lots of other globally inspired sandwiches up their sleeve!
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