Thursday, November 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Craig LaBan

Email claban@phillynews.com   Follow on Twitter

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.

 
04/04/2014
'Culinary cocktail" has become one of those dubious catchphrases, often bandied about despite shaky proof that a "bar chef" actually did much cooking. Squeezing their own limes or paddling ice cubes with a thyme sprig doesn't count.
 
Tender leaves, powerful flavor
 
Conshohocken Brewing Company starts pouring
 
Real Mexican barbacoa, cooked low and slow
04/04/2014
'I'm so sorry to have to rush you!" This was the last thing we expected to hear from our server at a meal that, any minute, would pass the three-hour mark.
Video: Avance
Gallery: Avance
 
Ambitious, chef-driven dining in Cherry Hill
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