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Needin' A Beefy French Dip

Okay, help me here - I've a serious craving going on for a French Dip. A good-size pile of thin-sliced roast beef, on a roll that's tender enough to soak-up the jus but firm enough not to fall into squishy muckiness. And an au jus that's rich and fragrant and salty but not too salty ... . Darn, now I'm drooling.

I've had Phillipe's - not thrilled (both times I ended-up with more gristle than meat). Hope to find something in the Pasadena area, but I'll drive if it's worth it.

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  1. Coles. Downtown on 6th and Main. The first and the best.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rednyellow

      With all due respect there has GOT TO BE a better french dip sandwich than Cole's. I like atmopshere as much as the next guy but this place just seemed dirty, and not in a good way.

      Last time I went to Phillipe's (over the holidays) I had a lamb double dip and it had a surprizing amount of gristle. I still ate it, and I liked it enough to go back (again and again), but it was noticable.

      I've been thinking about Gelsons too as over the holidays I saw that carving station and the roast beef looked FAB. I imagine it would make a tremedous sandwich if they can get the bread right.

      1. re: Pate

        Coles certainly has a "unique" atmosphere. Perhaps Bukowskiesque at best but I've yet to find a better french dip sandwich. I'd love to though. There are plenty of great steak or prime rib sands. around town like Houstons and Tam O'Shanter, but for a traditional french dip, I'm sticking to Coles until someone tells me of a better one to try.

    2. Houston's Restaurant
      (626) 577-6001

      Houston's Pasadena branch for their prime rib french dip sandwich with their hot horseradish sauce on the side.

      320 S Arroyo Pkwy
      Pasadena, CA 91105

      2 Replies
        1. re: tony michaels

          I second Houston's best french dip I've ever tasted. YUMMY!!!

        2. How about The Hat? When I'm in the mood, nothing is quite like the Roast Beef with gravy and an order of their chili fries.

          Or maybe try the Barney's Beanery that just opened up in Pasadena.

          www.thehat.com

          www.barneysbeanery.com

          1. Not a french dip per se but, I guarantee you'll be more than satisfied: http://www.esmdeli.com/

            1 Reply
            1. re: JAB

              Totally agree...forget those other places when you need a sandwich. I usually get the meat plate and the owner's son usually throws in a roll anyway..enough for two sandwiches.

            2. Houston's' French Dip is very good, but the slightly different version at Bandera in WLA is even better. Lightly grilled and softer bread than Houston's, and the meat tends to be more tender as well. Pricey for a FD ,but well worth it and the shoestring fries are great too