Tuesday, September 1, 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.

The upscale market-cafe craze is in the midst of another Philly flux, with some exciting new offerings on the scene (Talula's Daily, Tela's Market & Kitchen) to balance some oldies on the wane, including the Garces Trading Co. (a bar has replaced the market counter) and the recently rebranded Fork Etc.
The small cocktail list at High Street on Market is brimming with fascinating touches, from the bread-and-butter-infused applejack in the tangy "Of the Farm" to the double-dare broccoli rabe bitterness of "Trip to the Chinese Doctor,"

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