Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat of Sept. 6, 2014:
Reader: What are your thoughts on the pizza boom or over abundance in Wayne?
C.L.: I think it's a fascinating coincidence that these two serious Neapolitan pizza places - Arde (from DiMeo's) and Vecchia (from the Phoenixville pizzeria by the same name) - are opening across the street from each other. Certainly, Wayne probably could have used one, I just don't know if there's room for both. Frank Nattle, of Vecchia, told me it was a complete coincidence - but he's embracing the friendly competition .. . ..
Reader: Anything to be excited about on the Main Line? Ardmore/Narberth?
C.L.: In addition to those two pizza places, I'm especially excited about the new brewery/pub that Tired Hands is building in Ardmore, not far from the existing TH brewery cafe. My Ardmore spy tells me they're targeting spring.
Reader: Something else we have been wondering recently . . . best Bloody Mary in the city?
C.L.: For me, a tossup between Northern Liberties rivals - the Mighty Mary at Standard Tap or the Bloody Jerry at Jerry's Bar....
Reader: The best Bloody Mary is from Talula's Garden! Although it might well be the city's most expensive, too. .. . .
Reader: Royal Tavern has the best Bloody Mary. It's the best!
Reader: Is Vetri's upcoming Lo Spiedo going to bring people (finally) to the Navy Yard for reasons other than working at URBAN and attending craft beer fests?
C.L.: If Vetri can get the crowds to North Broad Street and the Moorestown Mall, I think the answer will be yes. Of course, it hasn't opened yet. But South Philly is hot, and the Navy Yard is ready to pop. Already enough daytime business to keep a restaurant busy for lunch. I'm guessing people will drive to a Vetri spot anywhere at night, as long as they can park!
Reader: So Craig, how many meals a week do you eat at home? What do you eat and who makes it?
C.L.: I eat about 3 meals a week at home, on average. Though I wish there were more. I love my kitchen and eating at home with the family. When there's time, I'm usually the one who's cooking. Last week, I made pasta all'Amatriciana, turkey Milanese, blackened snapper. Tonight, turkey burgers on the Big Green Egg - meat from Godshall's jazzed up with fresh sage, garlic, and Worcestershire.
Reader: Any good eats (preferably affordable) around New Hope for our family's potential apple picking at Solebury Orchards?