Phillippe The Original

At 1001 N. Alameda in Los Angeles one of the great working man’s lunch spots can be found. Since 1927 Phillippe The Original has been peddling their sandwiches, pie, macaroni salad, pickled beets, and ice tea to an appreciative crowd of train travelers, city employees, and downtown denizens. The sawdust and low communal tables contribute to the feeling that this place is stuck in time, the counter-angels’ frilled uniforms reinforce it, and the food virtually screams it. The self-proclaimed inventor of the French Dip has been making this same sandwich served on a rough cardboard plate, untouched by passing fads, for decades. No frills, no dip on the side, no mushrooms, no arugula, no horseradish mustard, no Kobe beef, no grilled onions — just extraordinarily-flavored and shockingly tender meat, usually beef, but also lamb and pork and turkey. The sandwich angels dunk the meat and custom French rolls into a rich jus and serve it simply, cut in half. Even with an optional slice of cheese a French Dip is only around $7. Throw in some standard sides, a pickle, and a beer and it’s still a cheap and fantastic meal. In this economy it’s a great working man’s deal – awesome lunch, plus a little time-warp.
Normally I get the beef double-dipped with American cheese, but this trip I tried the lamb dip with Swiss. Damn tasty! And be sure to try it with their mind-searing house mustard, it’s an absolutely essential accessory.

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