Saturday, August 23, 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.

Excerpts from Craig LaBan's online chat Tuesday: Good afternoon, my hungry friends, and welcome back to our weekly romp through the edible and drinkable wonders of Philly's food scene.
'Distributors bring me the strangest things they have," brags Jill Weber, who began Jet Wine Bar as a sideline to her globe-hopping career as an archaeologist. As a result, the sleek blue-tinted resin bar bending through this vest-pocket South Street

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