Friday, November 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

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.

One key to a great bourbon cocktail is the ability to embellish the spirit at its core - the whiskey - without burying it beneath too many flourishes. I'd have natural concerns about oversweetening any concoction, especially one with a name like Honey Bea
Review: Rustic, rootsy Americana in Mt. Airy
Rustic, rootsy Americana plates with kicky cocktails and a family vibe should make Mount Airy very happy.
If any lessons have been learned over the last few years of updated pickle boards, heritage grits, and back-to-roots Americana flavors, it is that anything in a skillet or mason jar will likely be a hot seller.
Video: LaBan reviews Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange

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