Thursday, July 24, 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.

Food can be high art in some of Philadelphia's best restaurants. But why is it so hard to find a masterpiece meal in one of the city's great art museums?
Look what's happened to Fairmount's restaurants
Planning a pop-up izakaya
Oxtail stew is a plate of pure Latin comfort
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: Happy Mardi Gras!! I always get that gumbo feeling this time of year. Where do you plan to get into your Mardi Gras mood?
Oxtail stew is a plate of pure Latin comfort
Mastrocola's roast pork returns
Barnes, Art Museum fall short of culinary artistry

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