Friday, November 28, 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.

The story behind Mezcal Vago may go down as the most romantic ear infection in drinking history. That's the malady surfer-beach bar owner Judah Kuper says led him to a rural clinic outside Oaxaca where he fell in love with his nurse (and future wife) Valentina.
I doubt even Clairvoyant Monica could have foretold the fitful fortunes Manayunk has experienced in recent years. One moment, its strip appeared poised for a bounce back to its gourmet glory days. The next, a handful of promising recent operators were history. And then the much-anticipated opening of Main Street's Great Margarita Hope - Taqueria Feliz - dangled agonizingly close to opening for what seemed like an eternity.
Video: Taqueria Feliz
Gallery: Taqueria Feliz
Tasty Turkish pizza near South Street

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