Monday, December 22, 2014

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 giant Hershey bar brushed past me, waved, and stepped onto the escalator - and I'll admit I did a double take. It was morning. Hadn't had my coffee. And the prospect of breakfasting with a cast of human-sized Kit Kat bars and York Peppermint Patties at the Hershey Lodge was only just coming into focus.
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: Went to New York Bagel Bakery, the oldie off City Avenue that sits just behind the McDonald's (7555 Haverford Ave.), and found these bagel sticks. This place is often recommended to me by old-timers who make regular pilgrimages there. This is

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