You know the French Dip… the warm roast beef sandwich served on a baguette and dipped into the beef broth (“au jus”) at your will? It would seem to be very obvious to claim that it originated in France but… it wasn’t! The French Dip was actually formulated in Los Angeles, CA in 1908!
We know, that information surprised us as well. Something even more interesting though is that there is actually an ongoing battle between two LA restaurants (both established in the year 1908) regarding who created it! The battling establishments, Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet and Philippe the Original, still exist to this day and opening claim their rights to brag about the birth of the French Dip Sandwich. The most popular story of how the American favorite came to be is of Philippe Mathieu, who was making a sandwich for a police officer and accidently dropped it into the pan of meat drippings. The officer thoroughly enjoyed the masterpiece, and its popularity has been growing ever since. Both restaurants refuse to budge when boasting their contribution to the sandwich world, but who can blame them?
We may never solve the mystery of the originator of the French Dip, but as long as we can still enjoy its juicy and delicious existence, we don’t mind!