I know that Steve Sax already featured the Los Angeles staple in 2008, but I thought I would recap a little. Philippe The Original was established in 1908 and lays claim to creating the French Dipped Sandwich by mistakingly dropping the french roll into a roasting pan filled with hot beef juice. He offered it up to a customer and history was made. They moved to their current location in 1958.
The atmosphere is great and it is usually crowded with the lines from the counter reaching the back wall. You get up to the counter and you are greeted by a "Carver" who kindly takes your order and prepares your meal. It is CASH ONLY so be prepared (although there is an ATM in the back). They have a variety of french dipped sandwiches, including beef, pork, ham, lamb, and turkey. They dip the bread themselves and stack the sandwich with the meat of your choosing. The roll itself is crunchy on the outside, yet soft on the inside thanks to the juice. The side salads are great as well. We selected the potato and the cole slaw. The slaw had just enough vinegar to give it a nice kick. Finally, the drink selection is nice, with prices that herald back to yesteryear. Iced tea and lemonade are 65 and 75 cents respectively! Take that $5.00 Dodger stadium water! We topped our meal off with a freshly baked donut for dessert.
The atmosphere creates a sense of cohesiveness with family style long tables and sawdust on the floor. Inevitably there is a child on his or her hands and knees making a sawdust mountain. There is a nice flatscreen television above the Philippe store which, when we went, was showing the Dodger game. There is an upstairs as well, which is a little quieter, with brick walls etched with names of patrons.
Dodger pride is displayed as well. They have a nice framed display of Roger Owens, the Dodger stadium peanut bag throwing vendor. There are also a lot of autographed baseballs on display - Pete Rose, Connie Mack, Tommy Lasorda, Steve Yeager just to name a few. Some of the more curious items were the 1962 Dodger Stadium admission coins and a Joe Biemel bobblehead that seemed out of place next to all of the classic memorabilia.
Philippe is located at 1001 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012, open 6am to 10 pm everyday except Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is free parking behind the restaurant and across the street. Enjoy!