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Philippe the Original

1001 N Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA - (213) 628-3781
Posted By Richard Brooks Alba on 3/15/2007 6:17:00 PM
I have to confess: against all the advice I was given to avoid Cole's (several blocks from Philippe's) French dips, I DID give it a try for the sake of objectivity. While the naysayers had overly dramatized their objections, I do believe they were correct: Philippe's was still the champion.

My nieces and nephews are now the fourth generation of my family to indulge in a Philippe sandwich. My dad (and his dad) ate their beef dips before Philippe's moved the whole shebang over to Alameda, to make way for the construction of Union Station, back in the day.

I go there pretty much any time I'm in LA, even if it's only to restock on my favorite mustard in the world. I typically get my pork sandwich double-dipped, add enough mustard to feel the burn in my sinuses, and have some coleslaw and a "beeted" (beet-pickled) egg. Chicago has its Italian beef, Philly its cheesesteaks; and LA has the Philippe French dip sandwich: my all-time comfort food favorite.

¬°Buen provecho!

5 out of 6 people found the review helpful. Was it helpful to you?

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Scorecard

Nice weekend afternoon pleasure.
"Nice weekend afternoon pleasure."
Dean Olson





Baked apples are available at Philippes only during apple season, from October through June. Not that this big hunk of sweetness has any fresh crispness left. It is soft and sugary, lolling in a pool of syrup.
"Baked apples are available at Philippes only during apple season, from October through June. Not that this big hunk of sweetness has any fresh crispness left. It is soft and sugary, lolling in a pool of syrup."
Michael Stern


A trayful at Philippe's: double-dipped French dip, a pickled egg, a baked apple, and a cup of coffee.
"A trayful at Philippe's: double-dipped French dip, a pickled egg, a baked apple, and a cup of coffee."
Michael Stern


A huge and delicious slice of coconut cream pie in the foreground, a smaller but no less delicious slice of pumpkin pie to the rear.
"A huge and delicious slice of coconut cream pie in the foreground, a smaller but no less delicious slice of pumpkin pie to the rear."
Patricia Beninato


Pickled eggs have been a staple at Philippe's for decades and you know something: they're good! Sweet and sour pickly, and a nice companion for a sandwich.
"Pickled eggs have been a staple at Philippe's for decades and you know something: they're good! Sweet and sour pickly, and a nice companion for a sandwich."
Michael Stern


Phillipe's mustard, available in squeeze bottles set out on the tables, is a great companion for the beef, but beware. It is ferociously hot!
"Phillipe's mustard, available in squeeze bottles set out on the tables, is a great companion for the beef, but beware. It is ferociously hot!"
Michael Stern


My standard order: pork dip, dill pickle, pickled egg, and coleslaw.
"My standard order: pork dip, dill pickle, pickled egg, and coleslaw."
Marlene Steinberg


A nine-cent cup of coffee on a vintage Philippe's tray.
"A nine-cent cup of coffee on a vintage Philippe's tray."
Michael Stern


A juicy home-style sandwich.
"A juicy home-style sandwich."
Dale Fine


A double-dipped lamb sandwich with just enough of Philippe's good mustard to complement.
"A double-dipped lamb sandwich with just enough of Philippe's good mustard to complement."
Patricia Beninato


Jury duty takes me to Philippe's for breakfast.
"Jury duty takes me to Philippe's for breakfast."
Marlene Steinberg


The French dip menu
"The French dip menu"
Marlene Steinberg


Colorful neon signs light up the serving counter while L.A. residents enjoy an early-morning meal.
"Colorful neon signs light up the serving counter while L.A. residents enjoy an early-morning meal."
Donald Thompson


Philippe's is not fast food. You likely will wait in one of the lines at the counter (at left of photo), and it takes a few moments for each sandwich to be made and tray assembled.
"Philippe's is not fast food. You likely will wait in one of the lines at the counter (at left of photo), and it takes a few moments for each sandwich to be made and tray assembled."
Michael Stern


Sawdust makes it easy to sweep the floor.
"Sawdust makes it easy to sweep the floor."
Michael Stern


Wish this photo could have been taken at night, old time neon signs for the win!
"Wish this photo could have been taken at night, old time neon signs for the win!"
Patricia Beninato


Is this really the home of the French dip sandwich?
"Is this really the home of the French dip sandwich?"
Michael Stern


Philippe's, circa 1935. Even then, it was a pretty old restaurant.
"Philippe's, circa 1935. Even then, it was a pretty old restaurant."
Michael Stern


Cole's P.E. Buffet in downtown Los Angeles disputes Philippe's claim of having invented the French dip. I wanted to do a one-after-another comparison of the two sandwiches, but mysteriously, Cole's was closed. It has had some rocky years recently. I hope it isn't gone for good.
"Cole's P.E. Buffet in downtown Los Angeles disputes Philippe's claim of having invented the French dip. I wanted to do a one-after-another comparison of the two sandwiches, but mysteriously, Cole's was closed. It has had some rocky years recently. I hope it isn't gone for good."
Michael Stern



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