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Mighty Subs: “Our Small Is Their Large…”

By Jarrod Milshtein
Published: December 2008

The dilemma that most face when embarking on their first Mighty Subs experience is how to get there. Do they turn left onto Dedham Street and follow an unknown road through a golf course, cutting through the back of the industrial park, or do they drive towards Needham Street and take a left at the Petco, engaging themselves in the prized Mighty’s turn? The most ambitious group may even make the illegal U-turn on Highland Avenue to drop themselves at Mighty’s. No matter how they find themselves at the Mecca, diehards know about Mighty’s fabulous reputation.

“Our small is their large, the staple slogan of Mighty’s. Let me discuss the rationale behind the highly provocative piece of literature that is the Mighty’s slogan. One wonders how a sub restaurant can make money from selling abnormally large subs at a small price, and one wonders how the bread can handle the sheer weight of the meat that it cradles. This wonder does not have to make sense, so non-believers, BELIEVE! A general mistake of a Mighty’s newbie is to order the large, and, let me tell you, you cannot handle a large on your first try unless you are really, really hungry. I was amazed the first time I ordered a large from Mighty’s. On that particular day I had forgotten to eat breakfast, and it was third lunch, a combination that can only lead to the most extreme hunger. I had also just finished woodworking class, which involves the most energy of any class I have ever taken at South. I ordered a buffalo chicken finger with lettuce, tomato, and blue cheese. I entered the experience thinking that nothing could suppress my ravenous hunger, but left feeling full and delighted.

Now, there is more to Mighty’s than just the size of their subs. They are hands down the most delicious on the south side of Newton. Here are some of my favorites: buffalo chicken finger, chicken Parmesan, and the sleeper pick, hot pastrami. I also enjoy a custom sandwich, the chicken cutlet bacon ranch.

Going to Mighty’s is a group bonding experience because a trip generally takes longer than a half-hour lunch block. The large tables create a feeling of community, where people can sit around with friends, talk, and enjoy the monstrosity that is a Mighty Sub. I remember a particular occasion when I went to Mighty’s with my elective class at the end of sophomore year, and my class of mixed grades (sophomores to seniors) sat around the large circular table to eat.

A lunch at Mighty’s usually involves at least one discussion of the food. It is completely normal to want to share bites and to swap half subs in order to experience a variety of subs. The communal side of fries is also customary. Remember that Mighty’s isn’t just a restaurant, it’s an experience, and if one just happens to find oneself alone at Mighty’s, I am sure that person could strike up a conversation with a hungry, but friendly, contractor.

The environment at Mighty’s is also a highlight. Step into this restaurant and be teleported into a 1950s style diner, with checkered floors, a glass display case, and Coca-Cola paraphernalia everywhere. Now, the place is not exactly a 1950s diner (it was opened in 1990), but I like to think of it that way because everyone is so friendly and the food is comforting. The man who stands at the cash register (Artie) even takes down the orders by hand on a special pad of paper that has the numbers to rip off at the bottom, so everyone has a slip with their number on it. I don’t think it can get anymore vintage than that. Also, I must mention Karen, the woman who always puts the subs on the counter. I imagine that Karen and Artie are married, but I have never asked, so I will not jump to that conclusion.

The best part is, the employees know the regular customers and treat them with the respect they deserve for supporting such a fine establishment.

For those girls who are afraid to go to Mighty’s, because I know they exist, don’t be. Mighty’s is for everyone. Also note that if you call in an order to Mighty’s, you can cut the line to pick up your food. Yes, it’s that important.

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