Thursday, September 3, 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.

A trek to Andechs, the legendary Benedictine monastery brewery that sits atop the "Holy Mountain" southwest of Munich, is a common detour for those seeking a respite from Oktoberfest. Philadelphians who have descended upon Brauhaus Schmitz this weekend for its usual South Street fest blowout need only to double back for the doppelbock brewed since 1455 - only now available in the U.S.
I looked up from my gunpowder scallops the other day and was startled to see a man in gray sweats, thick glasses, and gray stubble trudge through the dining room at Tiffin Bistro.

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