August 17, 2012

War of the French Dip

There is a long standing rivalry downtown between Cole's and Philippe the Original. Both restaurants were opened the same year (1908), and both claim to the the originator of the French dip. Chad and I decided we had to try them both and then we could determine which was the real originator. Let me start by saying that instead of of the traditional roast beef filling, both places offer a variety of meats. I chose the lamb. We started with Cole's...

Cole's offers a really cool vibe. They have table service, a full bar, and even a speakeasy in the back. The French dip was just okay -- I ordered a large and it was still small. However, I will say that the spicy garlic fries were delicious and I had a fantastic cocktail. We went with my brother and his girlfriend and it was a good time. 

Pilippe's could not be more different...

 Philippe's is a cafeteria style restaurant. We ordered at the counter and carried our tray of food back to our table. The cole slaw was amazing (I don't even like cole slaw) and the sandwich was pre-dipped. We were told before we went that we had to get it double-dipped which means that both sides of the bread are dipped as opposed to just one. The sandwich was delicious, I'd say better than Cole's, but again not amazing. I wanted more au jus! This would be a great place to go before or after a Dodger game.

Overall, I don't really care who was the original, but I think it's Philippe's. We were told they sell nearly 3,000 sandwiches a day and Cole's does not even a fraction of that.  Both offer a pretty good sandwich and I would recommend Cole's for nighttime and Philippe for daytime. But to be honest, I've had better French dips elsewhere.

PS. My sister told me last night that they added a new word to the dictionary to define my eating habits. It's called a Flexitarian! Now isn't that just perfect? :) 

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