There are two kinds of French dips in this world: The kind you dip yourself and the kind they dip for you. Will you assert your independence and waste valuable sandwich-cramming time soaking each individual bite in rich beef drippings (AKA: au jus)? Or place your faith in the sandwich creator and eat it “wet,” putting your clothing and the clothing of those around you in direct peril? It’s a win-win situation either way, but should you choose the wet road, we hope you’re in Los Angeles — where the French dip apparently originated.
Food scholars have long debated the sandwich’s origins, seeing as both restaurants claiming ownership of the meaty, soggy delight set up shop in 1908. Philippe’s The Original and Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet boast pre-soaked sandwiches and proprietary (extremely spicy) mustard. How you do yours is a very subjective matter. The interactive nature of a side of au jus is addictive. Suppose you order yours with fries. The fries get to take a dip too. But there’s something special about the ease in which a soft, drippy sandwich bathed in its own glory slides down your gullet. The important thing is that you locate and consume beef-soaked beef for lunch, and help us debate the age-old question: To dip or not to dip?
What’s your favorite French dip? We have in-office nominees for Rendezvous in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and The Inn Between in Syosset, NY. Any others?