The 12th of November is French Dip Day.
It celebrates the juicy meat sandwiches served with a side of meat pan drippings to dip (okay, dunk) the sandwich in as you eat it.
It is a perfect warm sandwich for the chilly days of November, and the dipping gives the bread an intense flavour.
What’s your favourite?
Have you ever been to one of the two restaurants in Los Angeles that claim to be the home of these sandwiches? Cole’s and Phillipe’s restaurants in Los Angeles, California, debate with each other as to who originated the French dip sandwich, and in fact, the duel between them may have extended to the very choice of the date for French Dip Day (see History below).
Activities for today
- Go out with a friend for a French dip for lunch;
- make French dip sandwiches at home and have friends or neighbours around;
- look for deals and offers on apps or web sites;
- post a photo to social media of the French dip sandwich you enjoyed today.
The first print mention that CooksInfo is aware of for a French Dip Day dates from 2008 and in fact, places the day in October.
In 2008, the Los Angeles Times said that French Dip Day was on the 8th of October, marking the anniversary of the opening of Philippe’s, one of the two places claiming to have originated the French dip sandwich:
“Today [6 October 2008]: French Dip day: Philippe the Original will celebrate its 100th anniversary by offering French dip sandwiches for the original price of 10 cents, and coffee for 5 cents.” — Weiss, Kenneth R. The Week ahead. Los Angeles, California: The Los Angeles Times. 6 October 2008. Page B3, col. 1.
Some years later, Cole’s restaurant, the other claimant, paid the National Day Calendar website to promote French Dip Day as being on the 12th of November, which was the date that they opened in 1908 (just a month later than Philippe’s). In this way, by gaining control of what people thought was the date, Cole’s may have sought to wrest the focus of the day away from their competitor, Philippe’s.
Block, Gen. Today is National French Dip Day. Moncton, NB: 91.9 The Bend Radio. 12 November 2020. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.919thebend.ca/2020/11/12/today-is-2/
Fitzmorris, Mary Ann. Historic Los Angeles French Dip. New Orleans, LA: The New Orleans Menu. 15 November 2019. Accessed October 2021 at https://nomenu.com/posts/national-french-dip-day
Martin, Brittany. The 8 Best Things to Do This Week in L.A.: French Dip Day, a disco at Bob Baker Marionette Theater, and more. Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles Magazine. 12 November 2018. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.lamag.com/culturefiles/tbest-things-to-do-111218/
National French Dip Day. Bismarck, North Dakota: KXNET-TV. 12 November 2020. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.kxnet.com/video/national-day-calendar-national-french-dip-day/
Painter, Alysia Gray. Bite into a Delish Birthday Deal for Cole’s 110th. Los Angeles, California: KNBC-TV. 11 November 2018. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Bite-into-a-Delish-Birthday-Deal-for-Coles-110th-500148431.html
Thompson, Elise. Celebrate National French Dip Day this Monday at Cole’s! Los Angeles, California: The Los Angeles Beat. 10 November 2018. Accessed October 2021 at https://thelosangelesbeat.com/2018/11/celebrate-national-french-dip-day-this-monday-at-coles/