Thursday, April 24, 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.

'Can I help you?" I'm not sure which shocked me more: the first time I recall ever being asked by a Pennsylvania State Store employee if I needed guidance, or that Max Gottesfeld would actually help with such knowledge and zeal.
An ale from a gypsy brewer
Mezcal with a romantic twist
If they can fine-tune the pricing, they can reel in a Jersey winner.
The recent run of star Philly chefs across the Ben Franklin Bridge to South Jersey has brought along a trunkful of expectations. But does the arrival of these indie operators amount to an instant upgrade over the corporate restaurants that have dominated the mall-corridor wedge between Routes 70 and 38?
Video: Farm & Fisherman Tavern + Market
Gallery: Farm & Fisherman Tavern + Market
A Vetri marvel at Jersey mall

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