Los Angeles, the city that introduced the world to Hollywood’s magical sound stages, skateboarding, the electric guitar…and the french dip?
I don’t know why but I’d always assumed that a sandwich built around salted meats on a french roll as being inherently east coast and I couldn’t have been more incorrect. Over a century ago someone had the novel idea to create the beef dip and in a moment of true greatness everyone agreed that the sandwich, along with its salty BFF au jus, was the greatest thing to ever happen to food. The beef dip was a huge success, nobody ever copied it, and it’s origin is well known. Just kidding, these days there’s two places in Los Angeles to get an original beef dip and they both claim to be the first. Since nobody ever lies on the internet, and I have a lot of time on my hands, I decided to take a quick trip to tinseltown and get to the bottom of this hot debate.
Located in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles, this watering hole happens to serve the original beef dip. The sandwich is fine, but it’s the atmosphere that really sells the place and when you have to go potty there’s little signs above the urinal telling you which famous people used the toilets before you. I chose the luxurious Hemingway station before leaving the dark interior of the bar area and began making my way towards Union station for my next stop.
I’ve always felt more comfortable around older people. They’re less likely to do something irrational while drinking and they usually have a pretty good stash of medications for me to rifle through when they take a nap. Phillippe’s also claims to be the original frenchie and I believe them a little more than I trust those fat cats over at Cole’s because everyone eating here is ancient. Floors covered in sawdust, confused tourists, and oxygen tanks take up much of the seating area while you wait for your turn at the counter. The sandwich is an absolute work of art and when you’re done eating there’s also the most boring museum I’ve ever seen in the basement.
As I let my food settle while observing the history of the California railroad I knew that I’d finally solved the mystery of who really invented the beef dip, It was an angel who didn’t come to end poverty or put a stop to war, they came with a simple dish, one that would give us a few seconds of joy in a world of pain and sadness. Thank you Mr. Sandwich person, whoever you are.