Legend has it that Philippe’s The Original in downtown L.A. is the birthplace of the French Dip. Or you may be partial to Cole’s, which I’ve never quite gotten around to trying because my family goes to Philippe’s. Due to Pasadena’s amazingly close proximity to the historic spot, I rarely order a French Dip anywhere else. But the newly opened Harlowe’s French Dip may convince me otherwise. After all, if it’s in the name, it must be good.
Not far from Union, Pasadena’s most popular restaurant and close to the highly anticipated Lost at Sea, Harlowe’s French Dip is located on the corner in that adorably old-fashioned spot that tends to rotate through a lot of restaurants. I’ve been there for Valentine’s Day back when it was French bistro and it’s also been other places that haven’t quite lasted. Harlowe’s is reportedly the newest place from Whittier’s The Bottle Room owners, so hopefully they know how to make a place stick around for more than a hot minute. Harlowe’s website isn’t open yet, but if it’s anything like The Bottle Room, the French dips are on the menu to accentuate the beer. Open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m, Harlowe’s looks to be a perfect spot grab a brew and a sandwich in classic dark wood and brass ambience.
In fact, although the Harlowe’s website isn’t up, they do have a Facebook page updated with a final beer menu. The menu is broad and includes those on tap, in a bottle or in a can from both California and further afield, such as Belgium.
The gastropub style looks to be a slightly more elevated on the classic dip and I’m hoping that the meats are smoked in-house, judging by Facebook photos of huge slabs of meat waiting to be carved up.
Pasadena has several diners and lunch places that serve a French dip, but it seems like Harlowe’s should be a seriously upgraded version, worthy of naming an entire restaurant after the classic sandwich. It’s also a new spot to try for lunch and dinner—depending on when you like to eat your meat.
Harlowe’s French Dip 43 E. Union St. Pasadena, CA http://harlowesfrenchdip.com