Saturday, March 28, 2015

Craig LaBan

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I joined the Inquirer as its restaurant critic in 1998, after a stint covering the food beat for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans. Having eaten about 500 restaurant meals a year here ever since, I never cease to be amazed by the diversity and sophistication of Philadelphia's kitchens. To travel from its many authentic ethnic neighborhoods to the gastronomic temples of Walnut Street to its beery gastropubs, cozy BYOBs and multitude of greasy-but-great steak joints, is to know this town delivers satisfaction at every level of the food chain. Including online dish.

Live chat: Join Craig at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays in the chatroom.

Book: The Philadelphia Inquirer Restaurant Guide is available through our online store.

4 Bells: According to Craig, the best restaurants in the Philadelphia area.

As the son of Cecilia Updegrove, who tended bar here 30 years ago when this Fishtown tappie was a workingman's watering hole, Tommy Up is keenly aware of the goofball irony. He's turned the old pub once known as Rick Dyer's into a palm-fringed, tin-ceilin
There's a pot of pure chicken broth simmering on the back burner that almost never goes out - sort of like the eternal flame in Chun J. Chu's kitchen.
Junto: One of the suburbs' top new restaurants
1-bell deduction for Osteria in Moorestown
Wayne's pizza boom just friendly competition

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