Friday, March 6, 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.

'It's emotional," says my colleague Karl, an Elkins Parker who lives a quarter-mile up Montgomery Avenue from Park Plates, the BYOB where we were having dinner.
Video: Park Plates
Gallery: Park Plates
GoodTaste: Chic P salad from Sweetgreen
My first taste of socca was in the summer of 1990, with the Nice Jazz Festival swooning behind me in the dusky Roman ruins of the Jardin de Cimiez, and a sunny July day's worth of Côte d'Azur sea salt still crusting my skin.
Video: The Good KIng Tavern
Gallery: The Good King Tavern
Rosa Blanca still seeking an identity

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