Martine has always liked good plain food, preferably old-fashioned American chow. There are fewer and fewer places which serve that type of food. One of the best is Philippe’s The Original, which sits at the corner of Alameda and Ord at the edge of Chinatown and just a few steps north of Olvera Street and its Mexican restaurants. Also, it is within walking distance of Union Station.
Philippe’s was opened 114 years ago and has been popular from the first. Whenever there is a home game at nearby Dodger Stadium, the lines could run out the front door. On any given day, you can find policemen, firemen, railroad employees, and God only knows. Everyone could use a great sandwich. Once Martine was there when there were even a bunch of Contra Costa County cops from Northern California chowing down on Philippe’s famous single-dipped roast beef sandwiches.
At a time when there are any number of “creative” chefs building little towers of unlikely ingredients into tasteless messes, it is good to find a place that knows how to (1) keep it simple and (2) keep it tasty.
I do not share Martine’s requirement for simple food, my preferences being Asian and Mexican; but I do appreciate having a restaurant in town where I can take her without giving her a pain in the tum. And I actually like their food, too.