Friday, March 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.

Brew-vitational 2014: Choosing the best of the local beers
The Inquirer's fifth annual Brew-vitational - one of few places where a thirsty Philadelphia beer geek would be more thrilled than in a seat at the tasting table, where 28 breweries from across the Philadelphia region had sent their entries in two categories: "new beer" (debuted in 2014) and this year's single-style focus on "saison," an increasingly popular Belgian-style farmhouse ale.
Video: Meet the judges
And the winners are ...
Brewers and Beers: Winners and Why
Spring is the start of sauvignon sippin' season, and the crispy, lean interpretations inspired by the Loire (versus a New Zealand grapefruit bomb) are usually where I begin. Sancerre is my favorite interpretation of the grape, especially with raw oysters.
Wine on the beach: Easier than you think
8 Refreshing Summer Drinks

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