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Philippe the Original turns 100, French dips to be sold for a dime

September 29, 2008 |  5:18 pm

Philippestheoriginal If you thought the lines at Philippe the Original were bad already, wait until Monday, Oct. 6, which marks the historic restaurant's 100-year anniversary. On that day, three generations of the Binder family (who have owned Philippe's with two other families since 1927) will be on hand to help sell the restaurant's heart-stopping roast beef French dip sandwiches for a dime. That was the price the meaty, juicy sandwiches were sold for when they first appeared on the menu in 1918. The price of coffee, which normally sells for a dime, will be slashed in half to a nickel.

If the Dow continues its downward spiral and the House remains deadlocked on what to do about the financial crisis, the monstrous line that will surely snake around the block Monday may resemble a bread line more than a party. But no matter, those are prices to wait for these days. And Philippe's French dip sandwich, with liberal amounts of signature hot mustard, is worthy of dedicated, solemn, slow-line celebration, which is just what you'll find Monday, so make sure to bring some sort of cane chair. And please, be gentle on the restrooms -- which with an estimated 2,200 customers daily and up to 4,000 on weekends are on the edge already.

Philippe the Original, 1001 Alameda St., L.A. (213) 628-3781.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photo of the counter at Philippe the Original by Jay Clendenin for the Los Angeles Times