Tuesday, August 4, 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.

Chinatown is the land of a thousand ducks, lacquered to a sweet mahogany shine and hanging in rows behind windows for the ulimate hunger-inducing tease. These roasted, bone-in birds (rather than boneless, crispy-skinned Peking duck) are the primary ingred
The original Dim Sum Garden was a definitive Chinatown dumpling dive, a no-frills storefront under the 11th Street tunnel where devotees braved bus fumes and panhandlers for xiao long bao, the broth-filled Shanghai wonders also known as "soup dumplin

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