Long shamed by its rival in New York, Boston pizza just stepped up to the plate. Having been in the works for just over 10 months, Cambridge’s All Star Pizza Bar is the overdue baby of Kosta and Johnny Diamantopoulos, the brothers behind Inman Square’s beloved All Star Sandwich Bar. All Star Pizza Bar finally open its doors yesterday, and the atmosphere, earnest staff and highly interesting menu make it more than worth the wait.

During a tasting party featuring all of All Star’s Chef’s Specials, the owners told the crowd that the telltale sign of a good pizza is a crust that stands up to its toppings. Johnny grabbed a slice from a pie that was hot out of the oven and held it up for the crowd to see. There was a little dip towards the end of the slice, but for the most part, the crust held firm. This is not to say that the crust was crispy or overdone; it was chewy and substantial, the perfect contrast to the creamy blend of marinara and cheese on top.

The brothers admit that they wanted to think outside of the sandwich because they grew up with pizza. They worked in a pizza shop growing up and continue to eat it at least four times a week to this day. For the consumer, their expertise is a very, very good thing. They got creative with the dish in a way that only those who know something extremely well can. The menu is bold, and steers clear of the trusted standbys. Rather than buffalo chicken, we are presented with Buffalo Duck Confit. Instead of searching desperately for bleu cheese dressing, one pauses to find their palate pleased that the heat of the sauce is complemented by the delicious fat of the duck, and that the tang bleu cheese would normally add is already present thanks to the addition of pickled celery.

All Star’s Dukes of Hazzard pizza stands out from the crowd simply because it delivers something you never knew you wanted so badly. A lot of restaurants are serving up Southern-style food these days, but none have yet to do so by way of a breakfast pizza.

Once you’ve experienced the marriage of creamy hominy grits, cheese, maple breakfast sausage and soft-baked eggs, you’ll come to understand just what your culinary forays below the Mason-Dixon line have been missing.

For the traditionalist, Ms. Piggy’s Fig offers up the time-tested blend of prosciutto, goat cheese, and arugula gussied up withvincotto sauce and toasted pistachio gremolata. The Red Head is a sophisticated take on steak and cheese thanks to the additions of herb roasted red bliss potatoes, caramelized onions and horseradish sauce.

Despite the high-brow ingredients, All Star Pizza Bar’s atmosphere is incredibly relaxed. The high top tables and chalk-board menu give it something of a 90’s vibe, an aesthetic that is only furthered by the purple and orange motif, which, try as I might, makes me think of little other than Will Smith’s wardrobe on the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” (This is not a complaint. Who doesn’t love a little Fresh Prince with their pizza?)

All Star also serves up better-than-average cheese and pepperoni pizza, and their drink list, including sangria, beer and wine, is sure to please even incredibly picky eaters.

About The Author

Erin Kilmer is a Blast junior editor

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