Today I decided to satisfy my BBQ craving with an old standby. I used to go to Phillips II every couple of weeks. I loved the sliced beef sandwich. Its been about 2 years since Ive been there; but today I decided to make the drive and see if I would still love it.
Now heres the weird thing: The girl who takes the orders and must own the place remembered me. Its been 2 years! So my experience was immediately improved.
A little about Phillips II: Its a take-out-only place. Theres no place to eat. You give them your order and then you wait. When they give it to you, you leave. And herein lies the dilemma. Do you wait until you get home, or do you eat it in the car? In my case I was resolved to bring it home. But I only got about 3 blocks before the smell made me decide it was in the interest of public safety to pull over and eat it right there. I found a big tree to park under for the shade and carefully opened the bag.
Inside, I found the exact thing I had always loved. A little rectangular bucket (like the one they put French fries into), containing an aluminum-wrapper with thick slices of beef and lots of the delicious sauce. I order the mixed sauce, which means they mix the mild with the hot sauce. Its just spicy enough for my palate.
Now, this is not a sandwich in the traditional sense. In fact, this is not a sandwich in any sense. Its a passel of meat and sauce in the aluminum foil, and separately, packaged in a standard sandwich bag, you get 2 slices of white bread, a napkin and a fork. Oh, and by the way, you get a little cup of a side order, which could be potato salad, beans or cole slaw. In my case it was potato salad, which was good. Nothing special.
The meat they give you is cooked perfectly. Its tender, and not dry. Of course its a roast, hence the sliced beef, but its cut in 1/8 to ¼ inch slices, which gives it a body thats better than a normal store-bought bbq beef sandwich. There is also a slight crust on the meat, due to the barbecuing. Its so satisfying to bite into a slice of meat and feel the crunch of the sizzled edge along with the flavor of the crisp burnt drippings layer.
I actually just ate the meat with the fork, and used the bread to dip into the sauce. For me, its not a sandwich at all, but rather a plate of meat with a bread side dish.
Anyway, it was really good.
Phillips Barbecue II
1517 Centinela Ave (between La Cienega and La Brea)
Inglewood, CA 90302