Continuously operating since 1908, Philippe’s The Original (1001 N Alameda St., Los Angeles CA), named after it’s original owner, a French immigrant, Philippe Mathieu is one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles although it has only been at its present location since 1951.
It is also renowned for claiming to be the inventor of the French Dip sandwich, which is still debated to this day. There are three versions of how Philippe’s French dipped sandwich originated but the most commonly retold is that Philippe accidentally dropped a roll in pan drippings, and the police officer who had ordered the sandwich agreed to eat it anyway.
It was so delicious that the next day he came back asking for the same again and so the French Dip sandwich was born.You will find Angelinos from all walks of life, flocking to Philippe’s (no one calls it by its full name). There’s always a queue, but they move quickly.
The food preparers are called carvers, you tell them what you want and they will prepare your sandwich for you while you watch. The carver will serve your sandwich cafeteria-style on paper plates on a tray that you carry to a table. Coffee was 9 cents all the way until February 2012, when the price was to be raised to 45 cents.If you try a French Dip – favorites include lamb with blue cheese and just plain pork.
Whatever you pick be sure to slather on some of Philippe’s homemade mustard of which 80 gallons are made onsite each week. Jars are available as unique gifts at the small store.