Friday, July 3, 2015

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.

 
Marc Vetri has heard the jokes about battling for pizza dollars with Sbarro, his neighbor at the Moorestown Mall. He's heard the wisecracks about needing to accessorize with blinking pagers - and a Cheesecake Factory line's worth of waiting diners - if his new Osteria is to amount to anything in chain-crazy South Jersey.
British cheese? A Frenchman says oui! I was lamenting the disappearance of truly great Camembert when a Di Bruno Bros. cheesemonger said his best now came from - England.
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