Phillipe's
Philippes.jpg

Allegedly the originator of the French dip sandwich, this iconic restaurant has been operating since 1908 and at its current location on the corner of Alameda Street near Chinatown since 1951. The plain white building itself doesn’t promise much, but the gray-striped awning and blue-and-gold sign beckon hundreds of people a day inside. The interior is equally plain — a long cafeteria style counter holds salads and other cold items, while menus above the workers’ heads display the goods to be had. The big draws here are the dip sandwich and the cheesecake. One sign sums up the old-fashioned nature of this place in bold red capitals: “CASH ONLY.” Red formica picnic tables complete the unpretentious furnishings. At lunch and dinner rush, the line sometimes weaves around these; it’s not the place for a private conversation or anyone with a fear of crowds.

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