Saturday, February 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.

Sparkling wine producers would pop their corks with joy if we embraced the notion that Champagne and its other bubbly brethren can be drunk all year, not just on New Year's Eve.
Paul Nguyen decided to go indie, trading in a Pho Hoa franchise for his own fledgling chain called Pho Ta, partly so he could expand his menu beyond the brothy pho bowls and broken-rice grilled-meat platters already standard among South Philly's many Viet

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