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Mar 8, 2009 08:01 PM

Jolly Jug El Monte

You all should go to the Jolly Jug in El Monte. The beef dip sandwich is the best. The Philly Cheese Steak Dip as well.

I have had the Beef Dip twice and after inspection of the sandwich I noticed it's really cooked brisket style but sliced ultra thin. That is their secret and that is what makes it good. Most places with brisket like Arts in Studio City slice it thicker so it has a different feel therefore taste different besides any of the recipe differences. The way they cut the brisket at Jolly Jug gives it a texture and taste that is to die for. It's my opinion but it's the best brisket/beef dip I've had so far.

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  1. Got to try a dip next trip. I don't get by there as much as I'd like nowadays; when the in-laws wanted us to take them to an exhibition in Industry, I jumped at the chance to stop at the JJ for lunch and introduce them to the place. So happy to see the current owners maintaining this treasure, and even improving it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      Very true. The story is this. If I remember the facts that the current owners told me. About 1947 a lady came from New York City to El Monte and opened the Jolly Jug. About 1994 she was about 87 I think when she retired and sold the restaurant to the current owners. The owners are Chinese who came from Hong Kong back in the '60s but of course bought the restaurant from the owner in 1994. The original owner, a Jewish lady, died I think a few years ago but of course she had been retired for a while since she sold the restaurant to the Chinese. The Chinese bought the restaurant of course and that included all the original recipes. They didn't change a thing nor add a thing. Therefore it's all original and good. I bet the beef dip is an old New York Jewish brisket recipe. As I noted above the meat looks like and taste like brisket but just thinly sliced. Oh first time I went there was about 1 month ago and I went again since then. I go to church about 15 minutes from there in West Covina but I live in Monterey Park so El Monte is a half way point between home and church so it's conevient for me to go to the Jolly Jug before or after church. My wife loves the Jolly Jug too. Oh the salad dressing according to my wife is great too.

      1. re: HoundDogz

        I knew the former owner. She was the Grand Lady of El Monte and a model for women's rights during her time. She told me stories about the history of the building that really added flavor to the ambiance of the place. I agree that the current owners have not changed anythng even though they almost rebuilt the place -- still the same old ambiance and good food. There was once a second location in South El Monte which was much larger. But when the original owner got older it was closed and the Peck rd. location stayed the same.

    2. Hey HD, Thanks for your review.

      I wonder which way you had your sandwich? Did you have it smothered in that really good brown gravy with more on the side for dipping or with a cup of Au jus on the side for dipping? I like it with the gravy. I agree that the thinly sliced beef allows for a texture and flavor sensation that sets the bar for beef sandwiches in the L.A. area. I think the reason is because it is too easy to quickly chew and swallow thicker slices of beef and therefore you really do not have a chance to taste it -- goes down ifast n big clumps. When your tongue has to work a little more to move the dense mouth full of moist tender thin sliced beef between chews, which exposes more meat surface to the taste buds, you have a better chance of tasting what is in your mouth. I am surprised you did not mention how perfect the French roll is and how the crust is perfectly toasted every time. I noticed that Philly Cheese Steak Dip on the menu but for over forty years I have only ordered the Beef Dip -- hard to change when all is right..The pastrami and egg breakfast is also good. I also hear they will make a great Open-Face Roast Beef w/ mashed potatoes smothered in gravy.

      Jolly Jug (French Beef Dip)
      4264 Peck Rd
      El Monte, CA 91732-2114
      (626) 444-8425

      1 Reply
      1. re: JeetJet

        Hi it was dipped already in juice I think then I had a cup of juice to dip more in. The juice is more clear than most beef dip sandwich dips. Not that that is a bad thing, it's great but just saying.

      2. This is the third time in a month that I've gone to Jolly Jug for their French dip sandwich since it's that addicting! The thinly sliced beef just melts in your mouth and love their crispy fries too! They also offer several other dip sandwiches which I will eventually try soon including ham, pork, corned beef, pastrami, turkey, Philly beef, and something called a pastrami burrito with grilled onions. My only concern about this place is the lack of customers since every time I've eaten here during breakfast or lunchtime I've been the only customer. I would hate to see such a gem like this close down.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SoCal Foodie

          Be of good cheer, Foodie - I've been almost the only one in there on a couple of visits, and on the others the joint was jumpin'. It appears to be a favorite hangout, since half the people in there always seem to know almost everyone else. Of course everyone is running on short rations these days, but I'd bet on the JJ's survival.