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.

Beatrice Loayza's approach so far at Inka Wall - her late-blooming career - has been cautious with spice and seasoning. But there's no mistaking her commitment to cooking from scratch, a real find in a region where authentic Peruvian kitchens are sparse, save for a pair of El Balconcitos in Northeast Philly and Juliana's Kitchen in Wilmington.
Video: INKA Wall
Taqueria Feliz: Nice addition to Manayunk
Ambitious, chef-driven dining in Cherry Hill
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: I've got a special guest today,'s resident restaurant-news know-it-all Michael Klein. There's a lot cooking on the "soon-to-open" burner. For starters, any news on CoZara?

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