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Ventura County Star Drops Gauntlet on Coles v. Phillipe

By Eric Richardson
Published: Sunday, April 17, 2005, at 01:55PM

Now anyone who's been to Downtown likely knows that we have two establishments which both claim to have created the french dip sandwich: Cole's at 6th and Main, and Philippe the Original over on Alameda by Union Station. I don't know that anyone's going to be able to settle that debate.

But today the Ventura County Star drops a new claim (registration required):

Philippe's, located in L.A.'s Chinatown at Ord and North Alameda streets, dates back to 1908 and is quite likely the city's oldest restaurant. It bills itself as "the home of the French-dipped sandwich," invented when its owner accidentally dropped a French roll into a pan of hot juice in 1918.

Hmm... Cole's site begs to differ:

Cole's is the oldest continuously operated Restaurant and Bar in the City of Los Angeles. Then and now, Cole's has advertised itself as "The Originator of the French Dip." In fact, in 1974, after years of unsolicited fact-finding and research by the Los Angeles Historical Society and the State of California, Cole's was designated by the City as Historical Landmark Site #104 and State Point of Historical Interest not only for its location but for recognizing Cole's to be the true originator of the French Dip Sandwich.

I don't know if the Star is taking sides, or if they just didn't do their homework. Other than that it is a very good piece on visiting Downtown.

A little point of note: I think it very cool that the Star has both comments and trackbacks for their online articles.


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