Tuesday, July 7, 2015

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.

Any trace of terroir - flavor that reflects an origin of place - is invisible in many current wines, whose big fruit and commercial-friendly consistency is closer to Juicy Juice than something created by the vagaries of climate, the wisdom of tradition, and a winemaker's knowing hand.
The tabla master rapped his hand drums with a finger-popping flurry, and the sitarist answered back, each pluck of his long-necked strings bending across the room with a sultry twang.

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