Wednesday, October 22, 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.

Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: Good afternoon, my hungry friends, and welcome to our final food chat of 2012! What an amazing year it has been for restaurants in Philly. I can hardly believe it's over. I'm in the midst of putting together my annual Year in Bells review, wh
'It will be an hour for a table . . . ." That used to be the line hostesses gave when they wanted you to give up - defeated - before you even started. Rarely was it ever actually going to be an hour - unless, of course, it came with a withering stare from one of the infamous list-ticking sirens at Village Whiskey. But at least there it was worth the wait.
Video: The Cambridge
Gallery: The Cambridge

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