Philippe the Original, Los Angeles
I've always known French Dip sandwiches to be served with a little cup of au jus on the side. But here at Philippe's (1001 North Alameda Street, 213-628-3781), where the French Dip was allegedly invented, the bread was pre-dipped. And that was all. It was slices of meat in between soaked bread. In that sense, it was a lot like the Debris Po'boy from Mother's in New Orleans...or perhaps an Italian Beef from Chicago, but less spicy.
Actually, Philippe's is known for having a spicy mustard to complement the sandwich. Its pungent nature combined with slices of beef surprisingly reminded me a bit of a roast beef sandwich and Horsey Sauce from Arby's instead...but soggier and not mass-market processed, of course. I don't think I'll be yearning for one of these again anytime soon, but it was good to come try the original. Besides, these old school places in LA have a bit of charm to them.