When the two first watched the Man v. Food episode on Los Angeles eats, they were pretty much set on paying a visit to Phillipe’s The Original. Because really, why live in the south land and not visit a landmark? So Matty set a date, rounded up some friends (including me and Don), and planned a LA play day revolving around various eateries they saw on the tellie.
Phillipe is known for its French dip sandwiches – it is the inventor, after all (or so they claim. But Cole’s makes the same claim as well). Sandwiches come in beef, pork, ham, lamb, or turkey, and instead of receiving a cup of jus, they dip the bread in it for you. Just tell them if you just want one side dipped, or both sides, or just “wet” with jus.
The beef sandwich is good at best, but unremarkable. Personally, I like my French dip sandwiches to be made with crispy, almost mouth ripping (a la Lee’s Sandwiches) baguettes instead of the soft rolls they use here. The meat’s a bit dry, and gets caught in your throat without the aid of the 17-cent coffee or a diet coke.
But what makes it really special is their nose-flaringly, painfully delicious mustard. If wasabi and mustard had a baby, it would be Phillipe’s mustard. So good.
We wolfed our sandwiches down in a flash, and after a discussion about what makes a good hole-in-the-wall neighborhood gem (we came to the conclusion that it had to be cheap, and good), then headed down to Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade to walk the sandwich off.
We got hungry again a shared a Cafe Special from Cafe Crepe. Nutella, Bananas, Hazelnuts, and Grand Marnier can’t possibly go wrong. The Grand Marnier pools at the bottom with melted Nutella, and gives the snack a booze-tastic finish.
We got bored of the Promenade rather quickly and walked to the Pier. It was the first sunny day after our only rain ‘storm’ in years, so there was a clusterfuck of people there.
Lots of puppies too. The whippet was freezing her poor skinny ass off, even with her puppy coat on.
We stopped for funnel cakes.
Freshly-fried funnel cake is pretty much one of the awesomest things to eat when you’re freezing and chattering teeth on the pier.
Right after we finished our funnel cakes, we headed out to Bay Cities Deli to try the famed Godmother sandwich. It’s an old Italian market-cum-deli with fantastic items like oil-packed anchovies (I think. It was labeled in Italian), Alba truffle salts, and Italian cookies. The deli counter is massive too, and if you enjoy charcuterie like I do, you’ll feel like a kid at the candy shop. I tried to take pictures, but sadly, was reprimanded by an associate. So we picked up our sandwiches and drinks, and took it outside to eat in the freezing cold.
The Godmother sandwich is, simply put, a monster. Genoa Salami, Mortadella Coppacola, Ham, Prosciutto, Provolone, on chewy ciabatta bread, smothered in lettuce and topped with the usual sub condiments. It is a LA legend, but I, unfortunately, can not swear by it like the others. It’s quite delicious, but it is also not the best thing to eat when you are in near-hypothermic state. Also, it is a flavor assualt of salty and meaty – meat on meat on meat action, and really, there wouldn’t be any flavor balance if it weren’t for the cheese and mayo. However, the boys just LOVED it. Matty polished off a ginormous helping, and Don wanted to buy another one after he ate his half (we shared a regular because I was quite full). The other boys ate with much gusto as well.
Their French macarons, however, swept me off my feet. Pistachio, raspberry, coffee, lavender with apricot filling, coconut with passion fruit filling, and chocolate with earl grey filling – oh my! I was a happy girl.
Where will we go next? Stay tuned!