Is it worth it? When it comes to trying a new place to eat, some of us can be apprehensive about expanding our taste horizons and trying something outside of our usual favorite spot. But that adventurous risk could lead to the wonderful discovery of a new favorite place to eat and hangout.
Worth Takeaway has the right combination of made-from-scratch sandwiches and a cozy dining area that encourages patrons to sit down and enjoy the food at their location nestled in the heart of downtown Mesa.
When co-founders and owners Jim Bob and Kelsey Strothers opened Worth Takeaway, the husband and wife wanted to open a sandwich shop that created unique food and a positive experience.
“We were trying to figure out a way to convey value without it seeming monetary, because we don’t think price is a good way to convey value,” said Jim Bob Strothers of he and Kelsey’s thought process while coming up with the name for Worth Takeaway. “We were trying to set the tone in regards to like it’s worth the drive, it’s worth coming to Mesa, it’s worth spending your time in Mesa.”
“We’re super lucky to be in a category of a top 100 anything,” Strothers said. “It speaks volumes in regards to the staff we have on board, the customers who are coming in on a daily basis and the community around us.”
This is an impressive accolade, given Worth Takeaway has only been open since February 2016. Though its doors haven’t been open a year, the sandwich shop has gained a steady stream of customers and regulars who come to get Worth’s unique sandwiches.
When Mesa resident Amy Higgins went to Worth with her husband, they tried the Crispy Chicken and Veggie sandwiches—and thought they were tasty.
“Both were exciting to unwrap and dig into, primarily because they were substantial in size as well as appealing—causing us to glance at each other in immediate approval! The Crispy Chicken Sandwich was hearty and oh, so good,” Higgins said. She also mentioned the house-made sauces, which made the sandwiches unique, in addition to the veggie sandwich that didn’t have lettuce, but she liked the combination of sweet potato, herbed ricotta and pickled cabbage.
“Worth’s food is different from other sandwich shops in that it is evident that they have taken the time to carefully craft their sandwiches by combining fresh and unexpected flavors, textures, and colors together to make a sandwich that is definitely far from boring,” Higgins said. “Finally, sandwiches for foodies like me!”
Worth’s menu is small—with seven sandwiches including what Strothers calls their flagship sandwich—the Crispy Chicken—and a variety of choices like the Buffalo Chicken, Cuban and Reuben. They also have a breakfast menu and options for kids.
The only dessert on the menu is the banana pudding, made from scratch and fresh everyday, which Strothers said is a homage to his favorite dessert growing up. They also have a rotating special each week to offer customers a new menu item choice.
“Everything is made in house from scratch except for our bread, which we source from a local baker (Proof Bread),” Strothers said. The co-founder and owner said Worth basically has a full-scratch kitchen, which is hard to find when talking about sandwiches because most people think of a fast sandwich shop that already exists. He said Worth is trying a new twist on sandwiches and making “something that you can’t necessarily make at home, but you might want to…here, we’re putting our time and effort into trying to make every sandwich and experience somewhat memorable for individuals that come through.”
Worth Takeaway packages all its food to go, and has a small dining area—with a 15-seat dining room and about 20 seats on the patio that encourages patrons to sit down and enjoy their sandwiches comfortably.
“The atmosphere at Worth Takeaway was akin to a neighborhood pub, in that they’ve created a space where folks would want to gather, enjoy a sandwich, a cold soda, and some great company,” Higgins said. “The shop is beautiful inside, and I was impressed by the vintage photography of some recognizable Arizona landmarks. The décor inside Worth actually highlights the presentation of the food, which I found pleasing. Everything about Worth feels fresh and contemporary, yet cozy, and inviting.”
Strothers said they have had a positive reception in Mesa because it is different than other places to eat in the area. He and Kelsey wanted to be a part of Mesa’s growth and have Worth be a reason people come to downtown Mesa.
“The reason I think people should try it is downtown Mesa,” Strothers said. “We’re building a community down here and want people to be a part of it. It’s not just us, it’s our staff, our guests, our vendors and purveyors, so we’re really lucky to have a large team” that extends the walls of the sandwich shop.
“I would recommend Worth Takeaway to anyone who enjoys fresh, relatively fast (worth the minimal wait), local food and a chill atmosphere,” Higgins said. “Worth Takeaway is definitely worth a try!”
To learn more about Worth Takeaway, 218 W. Main St., and their unique sandwiches, visit WorthTakeaway.com.
– Mesa resident Alyssa Tufts is a freelance reporter for MyNewsMesa.