Thursday, September 30, 2010

The French Dip Beef Sandwich Always Disappoints at Philippe Or Am I Just Missing Something?

Dinner at Phillipe

I've been to Philippe's about 3 or 4 times in the past several years, but for some reason, I've always ordered their French Dip Beef Sandwich and each time I've been disappointed.

Dinner at Phillipe

As for the juices the sandwich bread is dipped in, they just doesn't have the meaty flavor you'd expect or would want, which just leaves me with partially soggy bread.

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Dinner at Phillipe

Also, the beef is usually a little dry, chewy and tastes unseasoned. Only the addition of Philippe's mustard gives this sandwich any oomph.

Dinner at Phillipe

As for why I only ordered the French Dip Beef Sandwich, I think a part of me thought that was the specific dipped sandwich to order over all the other dipped sandwich choices. For some reason, I thought the Beef Sandwich was the first "dipped" sandwich that gave Philippe's the fame it has now and given its popularity, there must be something I'm just not getting. Isn't it amazing how something just sticks in your head, even it may be wrong? For all I know, that first dipped sandwich was pork.

I kept on thinking that if I tried it enough, I'd end up liking it more, but nope, no dice. That was obvious at a recent visit there where again, I was disappointed. I also wasn't that thrilled with the potato salad which had so much mayonnaise that you could hardly see the potatoes or the cherry pie, which had a filling that was too sweet and tasted like it came from a can.

Dinner at Phillipe
Dinner at Phillipe

After I uploaded my Phillipe photos to Flickr and posted them on my Facebook Wall, I posted a message saying that I didn't get the allure of the Beef Dipped Sandwich at Philippe. In response, a few of my Facebook friends gave me suggestions of other things to try on their menu, which included the:
  • lamb and blue cheese double dip
  • turkey double dip
  • pork dipped sandwich
  • macaroni salad
  • coleslaw
  • pickled eggs
  • pickled pig's feet
  • beef stew
  • baked apple
Being from the Philippines, I'm definitely a pork kind of girl, so if I do make my way back to Philippe, that pork dipped sandwich with a side of pickled eggs and a baked apple might make up my three course menu. How about you? What do you like (or don't like) about Philippe? Do you think it's popular just because it's a classic restaurant icon that's been around for over 100 years or is their food actually better than I've experienced so far?

Philippe The Original
100 N. Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 628-3781
Philippe the Original on Urbanspoon



weezermonkey said...

I like the lamb with bleu cheese. The lamb is far more tender and luscious.

pleasurepalate said...

The lamb with blue cheese seems to be a popular item. :)

Lynda said...

I didn't understand the french dip sandwich craze either (glad to hear I am not the only one). I would love to try the other items on the menu but it's too troublesome to venture out there. I do like the atmosphere of the place though! ;)

Susan C said...

I've always thought the same thing about the beef dip sandwich. Next time, I'll go for the recommended lamb and bleu cheese.

pleasurepalate said...

Lynda: With all the awesome restaurants to choose from in LA, Philippe for me, may only be a visit if I happen to be in the area. Even then, Chinatown next door may be too hard to resist.

Susan: If you happen to go sooner than me, I'd love to know what you think about that lamb and bleu cheese.

abenner said...

Ate their yesterday and was disappointed as well. Ordered the turkey. It was just...dry.

oh well.
Next stop. Cole's.

Vanilla Chunk said...

the lamb and bleu is great.
IMO, Cole's dip is as good if not better, AND
-they serve real cocktails
-they have great french fries
-the mustard at Cole's is better
-we got engaged there.

Both places are wonderful and I hope they both survive another hundred years.