Saturday, December 27, 2014

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.

Knowing some key words and phrases in Cantonese or Mandarin can help unlock another level in your Chinatown experience. Here's a short list compiled with the help of some natives - Warren Leung, Michael Su, and Jasyon Choi – to help you speak like a "Guy Fong" - C-town slang for "neighbor."
The best duck in town
Your guide to restaurants, markets, and tea houses in Chinatown
Chinatown's flying fish
Chinatown is the land of a thousand ducks, lacquered to a sweet mahogany shine and hanging in rows behind windows for the ulimate hunger-inducing tease. These roasted, bone-in birds (rather than boneless, crispy-skinned Peking duck) are the primary ingred
Gallery: The best duck in town
Chinatown's flying fish
Marigold Kitchen: Delectable dishes beyond the razzle-dazzle

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