By Josh Resnek
My relationship with Mike’s Roast Beef began during the early 1980’s.
In nearly a half century, I have never experimented at Mike’s.
Each time I order, I order the same product – a junior roast beef rare with cheese sauce and onion.
And each time that sandwich is delivered, to me in a simple white paper bag with napkins and salt and pepper packets, I take it in my car, I unwrap the sandwich. I take a bite.
It is a bit of five star junk food perfection that tastes exactly the same, that has exactly the right texture and which goes down smoothly in about five bites.
I wash it down with a Coca Cola – which from Mike’s – is always cold, always sweet and always just right.
The entire experience is about the perfection of a system, which the owners of Mike’s have never deviated from for a half century.
A legion of devoted customers has made Mike’s what it is, and what it might always be…about the best there is in a wide geography.
During the 1980’s, my family was growing. I had two young sons.
During the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s and into their teenage years, they grew up on Mike’s Roast Beef.
For them, as for me, as for nearly everyone else passing through the doors into Mike’s, the roast beef sandwiches were something to look forward to, to savor, and which you could afford.
Mike’s isn’t upscale about anything.
It is entirely pedestrian and simple.
It is about fast food at its mightiest best.
The average Mike’s customer is a workingman or woman, laborers, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, construction workers, MBTA employees, common people seeing uncommonly good fast food.
Mike’s will never work for the casino.
Not because the casino is bad. Rather, because the average Mike’s customer is hungry, in a rush and dying for something to satisfy the palate.
Mike’s customers aren’t so interested in gambling as much as they are seeking a great sandwich or some fried fish or great French fries and on and on.
When the word got out that Mike’s has been sold, the lament was the same with nearly everyone.
“What would we do without Mike’s Roast Beef?” seemed like the question of the day last Friday inside Mike’s where the buzz was about the sale and what comes next.
A Mike’s Roast Beef comes along only once in a lifetime for those of us who have lived our lives in this area loving fast food at its best.
Nearly everything about our lives has changed during the past 50 years.
Many things have become upscale.
Mike’s strength, Mike’s power, Mike’s testament, is that it has never changed.
Let’s hope we have Mike’s for a long while before it passes into the sunset of a new era.