December 20, 1995 |
It's not too late for you to learn before the art of writing dies altogether. Here are some tips and observations from a long-time writing teacher. Write the same language you speak. If you don't say "indeed" or "thirdly," don't write it. Then eliminate words you don't need, like "of all," as in "first of all. " Write in the simplest language. You've never gotten an essay back from a teacher who criticized the smallness of your words. That's because when you use small words people are understanding you and concentrating on your message, which is all you should want.
February 4, 2010
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: I've gotta love a Super Bowl with a culinary theme - I'm planning to make some of my best NOLA dishes this weekend (jambalaya, maybe a gumbo) . . . but can't do that without the proper smoked meats. I'm online ordering from Jacob's Andouille this year, chef John Besh's favorite. In the past, I've had good success with Best Stop in Lafayette, and Cajun Grocer, an excellent online source for all Louisiana products.
July 22, 2010
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Reader: I was sad to see Bebe's BBQ close in my neighborhood. That closing drove me to revisit Percy Street for the first time since December. Had a great dinner there and was especially pleased by the delicious sides: white bean salad and German potato salad. Craig LaBan: I was sad too, because he made a pretty good 'cue, mostly because of the fantastic rub. I'm not surprised though - the place was inconsistent and seemed to struggle with the basics of running a business.
May 27, 2010
Reader: Coming to Philly on June 14 for four days to see my actor son in Fiddler at Walnut Street Theatre. Any vegetarian organic restaurants of note in that area? CL: Congrats on your son's part in Fiddler on the Roof . If you're looking for straight vegetarian, the nearest one might be Horizons, an inventive and very sophisticated vegan restaurant at 7th and Bainbridge. There are other spots nearby, though, that do good vegetarian things even if the restaurant is not entirely veggie-for one, I'm thinking of Bindi, the nouveau Indian BYO at 13th and Chestnut.
October 4, 2000 |
Vice President Al Gore visited Florida last week, kissed an elderly woman on the head and touted his new campaign tome, "Medicare at the Crossroads. " The booklet outlines Gore's plan to provide prescription drug coverage to all senior citizens - "even middle-class seniors," Gore emphasized - regardless of need. I am sick of this wrinkled pandering. And I am not alone. I don't usually publicize reader mail, but my recent column about government-funded prescription drugs and the burden on younger workers elicited a response seldom reflected in the mainstream media.
September 20, 2012
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: After writing my fall dining preview for last Sunday's paper, I am seriously excited for what's about to land in the coming months, from glatt kosher in the burbs by the Zahav crew to three promising barbecue projects, more South Philly contenders, and a potential South Street revival thanks to Stephen Starr and his latest New York import: Peter Serpico of Momofuko Ko...
November 7, 1991 |
"Final Exit," the infamous suicide primer, is the reigning how-to book of the moment. Now in its 12th week on the New York Times best-seller list, it's a wonder any of us are left to buy the thing, unless a few cheapskates out there are waiting for the paperback. The success of this express checkout guide must surely have sent a big chill down the book industry's spine. If so many readers feel that bad, does that mean curtains for an entire genre - the old-fashioned self-improvement book that used to be so profitable?
July 29, 2010
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Reader: Went to Bindi last week and had a delicious dinner. That 13th St. has really turned into a dining mecca. Any word on when those ladies will be opening Barbuzzo and what the holdup is? C.L.: I think the upscale modern Indian fusion at Bindi is one of the city's unique concepts. I'm looking forward to their soon-to-open Barbuzzo, too, because I love wood-fired Mediterranean fare (especially with what looks to be a Spanish influence)
August 26, 2010
Reader: Who in Philly comes to mind when looking for someone "pushing the envelope" in terms of molecular gastronomy? C.L.: Matt Levin, the former Lacroix chef who recently opened Adsum, would be one of my first stops. Lacroix at the Rittenhouse is another spot that still loves playing around with liquid nitro and various futuristic powders. The Garces restaurants have been dabbling with high-tech ingredients and techniques. Probably, the one place in town though that still seems extremely devoted to pushing this envelope is Marigold Kitchen in W. Philly, where current owner Robert Halpern is exploring that world with ambition, creativity and good ingredients.
July 1, 2010
Here is an excerpt from the online chat of Inquirer restaurant critic Craig LaBan: Reader: I'm a St. Joseph's student. Quick question - City Avenue seems to be an upcoming area. What places could you suggest to eat other than the KFC's, Wendys, 7-11's, and McDonalds that surround the campus? Craig LaBan: Either this is wishful thinking on your end, or I've missed something new and exciting, but City Avenue isn't ringing many bells on my dining radar lately. Of all the places, I would be very curious to pay a visit to the new Franco's Osteria, which moved from East Falls into the Presidential City building.