I professed my my love for the french dipped sandwich and was recently surprised and taken to Philippe. This restaurant is located in downtown LA and is a little slice of history.
Philippe’s was established in 1908 and the owner accidentally created the french dipped sandwich. He was making a sandwich for a police officer and dropped the french roll in the roasting pan filled with the hot juices from roasting the meat. The officer decided he wanted the sandwich anyway and loved it so much he returned the next day and asked for the sandwich to be dipped in the drippings again. Thus the french dipped sandwich was born. The eatery is full of old school charm and comfort food. There is a large deli case filled with macaroni salad, pickles, potato salad, tapioca pudding, pies and more. The menu is hung behind the counter and features choices of meats for your sandwich, beverages, and prices of things. There are several lines that form to ensure everyone gets helped and the wait staff is dressed in old fashioned uniforms. Pay phones line one wall, a vintage candy case near the exit, saw dust lines the floor, and the tables offer family style seating, first come, first serve. The food is served on paper plates and sodas sipped right out of the can, reminiscent of your cafeteria school days.
Once we found our seat at a table, we armed ourselves with plenty of napkins in preparation of the au jus happily running down our mouths. I ordered the beef sandwich, double dipped because the saucier, the better for me. The first bite was amazing. The soft french roll was expertly filled with lace-like sliced roast beef tenderly cooked to perfection. The au jus coated both sides of the bun and delightfully drizzled down my lips and hands with every delectable bite. This is a sandwich done right and is the best french dip I have ever had. It was great with a side of macaroni salad, which perfectly complimented the sandwich. A soda to wash it down and that was lunch.
I love finding gems like this in the city and this particular restaurant reminded me of my roots in Nebraska. Simple, delicious, and an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fit it,” kind of joint. I encourage you to try this sandwich and I promise if you get it dipped twice, it will be more than nice.
Visit http://www.philippes.com for more info and it is located at 1001 Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA