Sunday, April 26, 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.

The signature cocktail names at the Olde Bar are threaded with pearls of wit and obscure references that only a son of the Old Original Bookbinder's family tree could have conjured. The "5th Grandchild," for example, is an Old Grand-Dad-fueled nod ("somewhat bitter, somewhat sweet") to the restaurant childhood of Erich Weiss, the grandson of John M. Taxin who helped concoct this new list.
Few names are as synonymous with Philadelphia restaurant history as Old Original Bookbinder's. Few names are as synonymous with Philadelphia's restaurant present as Jose Garces.
Video: Olde Bar
Gallery: The Olde Bar

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