Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Craig LaBan

Email claban@phillynews.com   Follow on Twitter

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.

 
08/28/2014
An exuberant embrace of seasonality and produce has always been a hallmark of Marcie Turney's fresh American updates to Mexican cuisine at Lolita. So, as her former BYO begins to find its voice as a full-service restaurant, it's no surprise its first big drink hit - the cucumber-jalapeño margarita - would make a juice bar proud.
08/28/2014
Ten years in the life of a restaurant is one of the best ways to mark the evolution of a city. But few places illuminate so many changing aspects of our dining world as Lolita, where the spinning "trompo" spit stacked high with a cone of chile-spiced pork is only one of many fresh new details that intrigue me about its renovation.
Video: Lolita
Gallery: Lolita
 
LaBan review: The Lucky Well in Ambler
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