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Monday, July 20, 2009

Philippe The Original (French Dipped Sandwich)

On Saturday we were in Los Angeles and decided to stop by Philippe's. In all the time we lived in LA we somehow never went in. It could be because its always busy.

But it is a Los Angeles landmark and the claimed originator of the french dipped sandwich.

Legend has it that one day the owner accidentally dropped the roll into the juice from the meat. The police officer he was making the sandwich for said he would eat it anyway. He liked it so much he brought more people in to try it... and so the french dip was born.

These lovely ladies are your order takers, your sandwich makers and your cashiers. By the happy look on their faces you would never know the restaurant looked like this.....

Look at that crowd! It was a Saturday in the afternoon... but I did it for you guys. I'm sure you appreciate knowing the background of the french dip.

So, if you look closely there are tables amongst the crowd. Long family style tables separate 10 lines. Some people sit and eat at those tables. We sat in another room. Amazingly the line moves quite quickly.

Many of the staff have been here for decades and they still maintain the same recipes, standards and service as they did over 100 years ago when they opened.

About this time my mom looked up and realized they served Silver Oak by the glass. Any winos out there? Silver Oak for pete's sake. They had a wine menu that was really impressive... at a french dip sandwich shop.

The food comes on separate cardboard plates and we ordered a variety of things. A few cold beers and a lemonade and we were ready to feast. B was sad to find out there was pigs feet that he didn't see on the menu. As a general rule I don't usually eat feet. I don't bite my own nails.. let alone something elses nails.

Oh and watch out for that mustard! Its very tasty used in small amounts. Too much and it'll completely clear out your sinuses. Its so popular that its now bottled and sold. They ship it across the country.

IMG_0927There were house-made pickles (sweet and dill) and pickled eggs.

We had both the beef and pork french dips. Oh and we can't forget the traditional sides of which we had the macaroni salad (heavy on the relish), coleslaw and potato salads.

Whats that you say? Does it look like a slice of cherry pie on the table? Well that must have belonged to a different table. I would never order cherry pie knowing we were going to an ice cream shop later that day. Who would want dessert twice in one day? Not me, thats for sure.

This is the brick wall the lines the staircase. I didn't have much time to stare but I did notice dates back to the late seventies.

I thought this was really charming. I realize the picture has lights glaring all over it but I have no idea what to do about that.

This, friends, is Charlie L. Sample. The picture was taken in December 2003. Charlie had been eating at Philippe's since 1919. I'm sorry... did that say 1919? When the picture was taken Charlie was 100 yrs and 3 months old!

I looked around for Charlie but I didn't see him. And what have I learned? If you eat at Philippe's on a diet of french dips, mayo-based salads and pie, you'll live a long and happy life.

Hey, if its good enough for Charlie, its good enough for me.


  1. If I'm ever in LA, I will definitely stop by Philippe's, thanks.

  2. I was thinking about you when I posted this! Its definitely not too fancy for a cowboy :)

  3. I just saw this restaurant on the Travel Channel- or Food Network. Anyways- looks and sounds amazing!

  4. What a cool place to eat. I can't believe those lines. Thanks for taking one for the team Dawn! :o)
    Charlie looks fantastic. I suppose a french dip and pie slice a day never hurt nobody!

  5. HA! I just saw this same restaurant mentioned in a program on the Travel Channel yesterday. It looked excellent then and now.

  6. I'll have to tune in on the travel channel!

    And you know, I really want to be there for you guys. So if there is any restaurant you need to have reviewed in the Southern CA area- well I would do that for you. Just for you though.

  7. The french dip is hands down my favorite sandwich.I am adding this to my list for our trip to LA to visit my mother-in-law this fall!

  8. Yum... that's really all there is to say! :)

  9. Hello, just dropping by to say hi =)

  10. Laura- make sure you ask for a side of the aus jus... they only dip one side of one bun and we all agreed we needed more sauce :)

  11. Oh my goodness - they are all for the french dip sambo? I am amazed.....never heard of it.......cannot believe the crowd........

  12. This place looks fantastic! Love the post.

  13. What a great place! What a big crowd! Sure sign that they are doing something right!
    The food looked yummy!

  14. I'm here from Buckeroomama's blog and I'm glad I stopped by. I don't live in L.A. although I was born there. I have never heard of Philippe's but it looks and sounds delicious!

    Plus, when you mentioned you were getting married in December, I had to be nosy! :) I'm getting married in October...very small wedding though.

  15. Chocolate Covered Daydreams! Now that sounds like a blog I need to be at. Congratulations... October is just around the corner!

  16. If you tell me the waitresses names were Flo and Alice, I'll believe you. I love that first shot. It is somehow, quintessential. LOVE IT!


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