Philippe the Original celebrated its 100th year Monday afternoon by dropping the price of its French dip sandwiches to 1918 prices, a mere dime, from 4pm to 8pm.
The eatery was founded in 1908 by French immigrant Philippe “Frenchy” Mathieu. And its famed French Dip sandwich came by accident in 1918, when Mathieu accidentally dropped a French bread roll into pan of beef drippings while preparing a sandwich for a police officer. The cop liked the sandwich so much that, he brought friends to order it for themselves.
So the story goes.
Downtown rival Coles, now closed for remodeling, also makes the claim as the originator of the French Dip.
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Nonetheless, Philippe’s was presented with a new signing marking it’s 100th year as a “monumental business” by local dignitaries, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmembers Dennis Zine, Ed Reyes, and Tom La Bonge, plus Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard.
Also present was four generations of the Binder and Downey families, descendants and relatives the Martin Brothers, Harry, Dave and Frank, who purchased the restaurant from founder Philippe in 1927.