Friday, July 25, 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.

Have you heard of the Pot Whisperers of the Mildred? Some chefs listen to the seasons as their muse. Others channel the ancestral voices of family tradition. But for cooking school pals and partners Michael Santoro and Michael Dorris, the call of enameled cast iron - in particular, their collection of Staub stove-to-tableware - is what guides the Mildred's menu. The pot that hangs at the center of the restaurant's sign? It speaks.
Video: Restaurant Review: The Mildred
Americans have long been inspired by the beers of Belgium. But the admiration is mutual. This 2012 edition of Duvel's Tripel Hop is a stunning example of the kind of bounce-back influence Americans are having on Belgians, too. This annual limited edition

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