Extra mayo please!

On March 30, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

del_ponte_3_webLife in the Ville by Jimmy Del Ponte

(The opinions and views expressed in the commentaries of The Somerville News belong solely to the authors of those commentaries and do not reflect the views or opinions of The Somerville News, its staff or publishers.)

Lots of onions? No hot stuff? Whatever you wanted you could get at one of the many sub shops that deliciously dotted the Ville.

By the way, I never heard anyone in Somerville ever use the word grinder or hoagie when talking about a submarine sandwich. It was a sub. You had just better made sure you had lots of napkins if you ordered extra oil.

One of my favorite stories is of my Somerville High School days when I would skip a class and bolt over to Nan’s Sub Shop across the street. When I came back reeking of onions I’d get bagged for hooking class. My friend Pat Scrima could never pop over to Nan’s during school because…Nan was his mom!

Angelina’s Sub Shop posed the same dilemma for me when I was at The Western Junior High School on Holland St. By the way, Angelina’s has kept their consistent high standards of quality for as long as I can remember. There’s nothing like a savory taste to bring back happy memories of the old days.

Nan’s Sub shop is no longer in business but it was quite the favorite hangout back in the day. It got me thinking about those yummy “sangwich” shops that we loved in our younger days.

Di Tuccis, across from The Highland Café (Virgie’s) had delicious subs as did Ma Magoos which was at Central and Highland. Bobby Di Tucci is running his rug and upholstery cleaning company and you can still see him around (if you drip your sub on your carpet, give Bobby a call!).  If you look above the Crowley’s Liquor sign in Ball Square, you will see the Todi’s sign. Todi’s had delicious subs. His mother used to make the sauce and you could always expect some entertaining conversation from Todi. Ross Bluin used to make the biggest subs you have ever seen at McKinnons back in the 90’s. My dad used to call them bombers. There was enough meat in one of those subs to feed a family of four!

There was a sub shop called Leo’s that was also in Ball Square. Ma Magoos was across from Sunnyhurst Farms (which is also gone) at the corner of Central and Highland Ave. J and S was on Cross Street and White Sport was in Magoun Square on Medford St. (there was a White Sport in Union Square too I think).  3D’s was also in Magoun.  Caputos was at the corner of School St and Somerville Ave. DiNittos was on Somerville Ave. near where Bradlees (Target) was.  Minute Sub shop was at the corner of Broadway and Barton.

Do you remember Joe and Sal’s on Cross Street? Johnny’s on Thurston St. always gets mentioned when discussing subs. I’m pretty sure their famous “Johnny’s special” cost 50 cents. A shop called My Uncles was in Teele Square at one time. Karen’s Take Out was on the corner of Washington and Kirkland Street. They had a great meatball sub. Mike’s Sub Shop was on Highland Ave. and he also sold a lot of parade paraphernalia. Frank’s sub shop was at the corner of Claremon  and Holland by The Western Jr High. The Italian Village was on Broadway and Belmont St. A sub shop called The Three Bells was at the corner of Mt Vernon and Washington and Ruth’s Deli was at the corner of Broadway and Temple. Do you remember these places?

A friend says he spent most of his allowance on subs on Wednesdays when St. Clement’s had an early release day. You could find him and his friends enjoying a sub at Todi’s in Ball Square.

And now for my favorite sub shop of all time. Bella Meos, which was located across from Powder House Park. It was the sub shop closest to my house, plus it was next to Louds Candy shop.

Leones, and Mama Lisa’s are still in Winter Hill, but Primo’s is gone (but not forgotten), as are most of the sub shops mentioned in this story. I still think of the old sub shops when I smell onions.


11 Responses to “Extra mayo please!”

  1. A. Moore says:

    There was a White Sport in Union Square also. Angilina’s was only half the size years ago as the other half was a laundromat. There was also Dick’s(I believe was the name) on the corner pf Park and Somerville Ave which was a lunch place and store before that(can’t recall the name). But Dick’s made probably the biggest sandwich out there. It was huge. Had to see it to believe it. Real heart attack food. Mitrano’s also made subs. There was also a very good one in Davis Square which I can’t remember the name accross from the Old Ming Toy. Wine Cask on Washington and Beacon made incredible unique sandwiches back around the 80’s. Also was one between Ibbetson and Belmont on Somerville Ave that I can’t recall the name of. Not positive on this one but at McGrath and Broadway may have been a White Sport before the fish place, maye Arthur Treachers or something like that. I do remember it being a white place. Don’t rememember if Prince Pizza on McGrath sold sandwiches. Also if Tony’s on Somerville Ave sold sandwiches. By the next article you write I might not even remember my name at this rate. Lowell Street by Morrison Ave. and at the other end Y Not.

  2. j. connelly says:

    It appears that Mr. “A. Moore” our ‘senior commentator’ supported a lot of Somerville businesses over the years, much appreciated, a good thing. The “real” Angelina I believe partnered or assisted in both of the White Sport Sub Shops as his relatives eventually left Angelinas & were then operating the White Sports. Bella Meo’s Cheeseburgers were heavenly, never found any like them since though once had a cheeseburger from Kellys Roast Beef in Medford, which was similar.

  3. A.Moore says:

    The nice lady mary simeone kaplan who commenrted on Magoun Square got me beat being born in 1924.
    These places were great which probably accounts for the shape I am in. If I had known I was going to be around this long……….

    Don’t knoiw how I missed Bella Meo’s . Thought I knew all of the artery clogging places.

  4. I remember J&S. It was originally Gene’s and he and his family lived upstairs. It closed in 1960/61 and J&S reopened when returned from the army. I began working there in 1962. In 1963 the store moved to the old First National store at Cross and Pearl Street. It moved back to the original location when the city took the land for the new school. The family had a store in Cambridge but I belive that everyone worked in the Somerville store.

  5. A.Moore says:

    art, I also lost my house for the school. Trying to recall, I remember the prince pizza there and then it moved to McGrath so I am guessing it must have been close to that. Unless I am recalling ti wrong.

  6. Agree, j. connelly!

  7. A. The only pizza place I remember was the leaning tower at the corner of Everrett ave and McGrath Highway.
    I grew up on Webster Street and left in 1964 after enlisting in the Air Force.

  8. A. Moore says:

    Yup, you are right art about leaning tower of pizza, see, my memory is half shot. I think a small tiny pizza was like 50 cents there. Maybe the relocating part was J&S. You were in the AF just before my brother from Rush Street. I think he went in around 66.

  9. jimmy Del Ponte says:

    “The Italian Village was on Broadway and Belmont ..”. I guess I have to edit these stories more carefully. I just print what people send me …. but i If I was more attentive, I would have realized that Belmont St does not go down too Broadway !! I guess thats wht I got bad marks in English !! Sorry !

  10. Steve Keenan says:

    I grew up in Ten Hills. For many years on Mystic Avenue near Temple Road(where Route 93 is now) we had Al’s Sub Shop. It was a popular spot back then.

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