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A menagerie of French dips.
A menagerie of French dips.

A friend told me that a restaurant called Cole’s was having a Grand Re-Opening in downtown LA. The restaurant has been around for 100 years, so to celebrate, they were offering 100 cent ($1) sandwiches, pecan pies and beers.

There was a line outside and red, white and blue balloons along the banister outside to greet friendly real Americans (meat-eaters). Signs outside Cole’s claimed that it was the “Originator of the French Dip.” Are we sure that France wasn’t the originator of the French dip? It stands to reason that it should be. It made me wonder if anything “French” was actually French. French fries certainly aren’t, neither is French’s mustard. Also, what does it mean to be the “originator“? Is that the same as the inventor or creator? Is it possible that Cole’s is the originator of the French dip, but someone else might be the inventor? It was a curious claim, and one that I almost forgot about when I finally made it through the line and entered the restaurant.

Once inside, we could buy 100 cent passes to trade in for foodstuffs. The food looked like it had been imported from munchkin land, since the sandwiches were about two inches long, the pies were about two inches around and the beer cups were about two inches tall.

Nevertheless, I was excited for the no-frills sandwiches. There were two choices, beef or turkey. They were all pre-made and lined up on a counter. Luckily, I saw that there were no veggies, just the way they should be. I ordered two beef and one turkey, and even though they were already “double-dipped,” I grabbed some extra dipping sauce. There was also a mustard bar featuring three flavors of mustard and some horseradish. I didn’t have any of that, but my friend liked it a lot.

The 100 cent promotion was mildly gimmicky, but provided a good opportunity to try something new. The sandwiches turned out to be pretty good and tasted great with a tiny beer. The beef were much better than the turkey, but they were all well-dipped and tasted just as I imagine they would have in 1908, before people got the crazy inclination to ruin sandwiches with vegetables.