Saturday, October 25, 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.

Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: While in Bucks County, we got a chance to pop into OwowCow Creamery in Wrightstown and loved it. Three varieties of vanilla ice cream, with beans from Tahiti, Madagascar, and Indonesia - but the best was a luscious cup of banana ice cream with caramel. Lots of great ice cream artisans in the region, but wish one of these were closer to Philly!
As quality mezcal finally ascends into popular favor, it has usually been used as a more rustic, gutsier stand-in for its suave blue-agave cousin, tequila. The two used together, though, might prove to be a dynamic duo. That is exactly the case with El Escorpión at Pub & Kitchen, which pairs a healthy splash of Scorpion mezcal (newly available in Pennsylvania) with Cazadores reposado tequila.
Shore dining outlook is fair and fresh
Taking a second look at Pub & Kitchen

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