Monday, July 6, 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.

Prospects for beery brunches at the South Philadelphia beer specialist took a most remarkable turn for the positive recently when Hawthornes, almost miraculously, was rebuilt and reopened within just 11 months after a fire.
The mind can play tricks when you first walk into Gran Caffè L'Aquila. One moment, you're on Chestnut Street in Center City. The next, you've stepped into a sleek hideaway off Piazza Duomo at the heart of L'Aquila in Abruzzo.

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