Wednesday, April 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.

Nicholas Elmi was at times so weepy with emotion during his recent run to the finals of Bravo's Top Chef, my wife joked that he practically salted his gnudi with tears of homesickness.
Video: Laurel
Gallery: Laurel
'Top Chef' Elmi on winning 3 bells
Where South India meets South Jersey A South Indian dosa can be intimidating at first glance, an oversize lentil-rice crepe rolled around any number of (usually vegetarian) stuffings, with its wide-open ends often drooping well off either side of the plat

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