Wednesday, January 28, 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.

In November, Jane G's fancy fusion dumplings looked deader than disco. Who could have guessed that, by the New Year, this kitchen would be revived and breathing Sichuan fire?
Video: Jane G's
Gallery: Jane G's
A gorgeous Napa chardonnay
La Colombe's Dilworth Plaza store is one of a handful of cafes in the U.S. debuting the Steampunk, a $15,000 full-immersion machine that allows baristas to simulate drip, French press, or vacuum pot methods.
Ballpark beer; great fried chicken
Review: One bell for Southern Cross Kitchen
Pizza on the grill; hungry in Roxborough

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