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Thousands expected to celebrate Philippe's 100th anniversary

October 6, 2008 | 12:33 pm

A_century_of_dippingBetter get in line early if you want a chance to celebrate Philippe's centenary today with a 10-cent sandwich, on sale from 4 to 8 p.m. Our own Cara Mia DiMassa looks at Philippe's rich history, and the special place it holds in Angeleno's hearts:   

Lines for the turn-of-the-20th century deal are expected to form at 2 p.m. today for the 4 p.m. event, and the deals will continue until 8 p.m.

The restaurant -- which was founded when Theodore Roosevelt was president and there were only 46 states in the United States of America -- has long been an institution in the city center. Part of its appeal stems from its stable menu, which has varied only slightly over the years.

While customers flock to the restaurant for such old-time delicacies as pickled pigs feet and eggs, sweet baked apples and icy lemonade, by far the star of the Phillipe’s menu has been the French Dip sandwich.

The restaurant serves approximately 18,000 French Dips a week -- made with beef, mostly, but also lamb, pork, and turkey -- a relatively new addition to the lineup.

Yum_3The legend goes that in 1918, the restaurant’s founder, Philippe Mathieu, accidentally dropped a French roll into a roasting pan laden with meat drippings while preparing a sandwich for a police officer who just happened to be called Officer French. The officer liked the sandwich so much, according to restaurant lore, that he came back with friends to order the sandwich en masse.

More in Cara's full story here.

--Veronique de Turenne

Photos: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times