My First Time: Philippe’s

phillipes1.jpgYesterday, in my further adventures downtown, I went to Philippe’s (100 years old!) for the first time in my 22 years of living in Los Angeles. And after all I heard and read, it did not disappoint! I went with the same friend who accompanied me to Clifton’s Cafeteria not too long ago. For lunch we shared a beef sandwich and a turkey sandwich. She had potato salad, I opted for mac salad and we shared peach pie. My bill came to $7.70 (with iced tea and the 9ยข coffee) — what a deal! (I did also leave a $2 tip.) It’s a phenomenal deal all the way around as they even have free parking.

More photos and stories on my downtown Philippe’s adventure after the jump.

Here is a photo of the place when we left at 2pm. We got there at 12:30, which was apparently just the right time because the lines were only about a third as long when we arrived. My friend had been to Philippe’s before, but not for about 20 years so we were guessing about a few things while waiting to order.

A nice young woman (wait, aren’t I still a nice young woman?) behind us gave us all kinds of advice and info regarding dipping vs. not dipping (we went with one dip) cheese vs. no cheese (we opted for no cheese) and pies–all looked good. (Best pie in the world? No, but great pie for the experience.) We were so happy with both kinds of sandwiches and decided one dip was really great.
We ate in one of the upstairs rooms as downstairs had filled up already. There was a brick wall with all kinds of graffiti all over it, and young girls trying to carve their initials in.

I said I have never been to Philippe’s before….but wait…have I?
My name was Rivas up until 2001…hmmm

We both didn’t have time to stroll around Chinatown or Olvera St. (future adventures downtown) but we had a nice long conversation and great food. I am really looking forward to going back for that sandwich!

1001 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles CA. 90012
(213) 628-3781
6am — 10pm (bummer about the 10pm part…)

(Full disclosure: I was going to make this an “LA Bus n00b” story, but for a variety of personal reasons, I drove instead. Next time…)

9 thoughts on “My First Time: Philippe’s”

  1. I too tried Philippe’s a couple of years ago. Excited about being at an LA landmark and about to eat a French dipped sandwich I was not so impressed with the sandwich. I mean the place was awesome with it’s historical charm and I loved how crowded it was with people ordering and orders being yelled out. It was the dipped sandwich I did’nt care for. I guess some peeps like soggy (dipped) sandwiches, I like mine dry. Later on I find out they also have dry sandwiches. I am looking forward now to trying out it’s neighborhood cousin Cole’s.

  2. I like going for the good ole breakfast, hash browns, eggs, and crumbly biscuits. But you have to be there by 10:30 so its no good if you want to sleep in and wake up slowly. If you have British visitors to entertain, they’ll love the place!

  3. Ha! I was at Philippe’s yesterday from about 1pm to 2:30. It’s one of my favorite places, even though I go the “no dip” route.

  4. The Militant always believed Cole’s had the better sandwich, while Philippe’s the better atmosphere. But now since Cole’s is turning all chi-chi on us, who knows whether it will retain the title.

  5. You haven’t really tried Phillipes until you’ve had the lamb with swiss double dipped and slathered in the spiciest mustard this side of wasabi.

    The gelatin pies are well below average.

  6. I was there yesterday too! Got there around 2:30. And waited, and waited, and waited. Someone in front of us ordered food for 15 people. Ugh…

  7. I got into the same server’s line four days in a row and the others winked at her thinking I wanted to be her boyfriend or something…
    …I chose another line the next day.

  8. My man got food poisoning from their lemon merangue pie once – overall I think the place is dirty and way overrated.

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