Busch's seafood restaurant died a dozen near-deaths before the end actually came. So when it was finally sold in 2014 and the Townsend's Inlet icon slipped beneath the waves of history - after 132 years and five generations of family ownership - no one was surprised. It was a 425-seat whale to maintain, decidedly frumpy in look, and seriously out of fashion on the plates.
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: We're talking beer - Philly Beer Week, the Inquirer's big Brew-vitational (published last week), and the swift and sudsy rise of great brewing in South Jersey. We have a couple of guests to answer questions: Mike "Scoats" Scotese, l
When summer's rays start beaming, it's finally gin and tonic season for me. Because I'm averse to overly complicated mixology at home, I appreciate the elegant simplicity of that refreshing classic combo of gin, tonic, and lime. But after my introduction
There is a beauty to the meritocracy of a blind beer tasting. There's no slick marketing to influence decisions. No brand loyalty tugging at judges' sympathies. No extra points for history or the geography of state lines, as this year's winners would prove.
Some Philadelphians may need to fight the urge to call it "Bar Hoagie." The young parents of Fairmount might find "Bar Huggies" tempting, too. Judging from the many families there grazing in the early-evening hours over sharing boards of heirloom radish dips, grilled coconut shrimp, and farmstead American cheese (all the better washed down with a frosty array of stellar house beers) the neighborhood's new brewpub is definitely kid-friendly, down to the high chairs and changing table.
Part of the wonder of sherry is the stunning breadth of styles in which this fortified wine appears, from the driest, straw-pale Manzanillas to the coffee-dark elixirs of a syrupy sweet Pedro Ximénez that is ideal for dessert. Here are my tasting notes on eight outstanding bottles available in Pennsylvania.
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: I've been loving the unexpected trend of meals built entirely from skewered meats, as you can tell from my enthusiastic review last weekend of Saté Kampar, the fun and evocative Malaysian spot on East Passyunk that's grilling its skewered meats (try the goat) over imported coconut shell charcoal. Add in Double Knot and Sansom Kabob House, and this year's definitely been a United Nations of tasty international skewers.
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: We held the Inquirer's seventh annual Brew-vitational Competition for local beers at the paper earlier in the week. The private tasting event was our biggest to date, with 35 breweries and 64 beers. I can't divulge any results until our speci
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: The results of the James Beard Awards, the self-styled "Oscars" of the food industry, are getting to be a familiar sad story. Lots of Philly chefs get finalist nominations, but none come home with hardware from that national stage.
Live chat: Join Craig at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays in the chatroom.
Book: The Philadelphia Inquirer Restaurant Guide
4 Bells: According to Craig, the best restaurants in the Philadelphia area.