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.
March 15, 2013
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: Craig LaBan: To mark St. Paddy's Day, I had Colcannon at the Black Sheep near Rittenhouse Square . . . We can talk about other places to celebrate the holiday, as well as a number of hot topics . . . like the continued rise of ValeMar – that power couple from Midtown Village, Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney, whose 13th Street domain keeps growing. Not only are they swapping their BYO status for a liquor license at Lolita, but taking over the 13th and Locust space that previously housed Rhino Bar and Fish.
May 30, 2013
This is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat from May 28, 2013: Craig LaBan: It's been a good week for me, as you can see from this Crumb Tracker Quiz. Name the place I ate these dishes: (1) chu toro nigiri with tofu, ginger and chive; (2) crispy haloumi with poached figs; (3) lamb burger and fries with curry ketchup. I've got asparagus on the brain because we popped by amazing Terhune Orchards while in Princeton last weekend and found a "pick your own asparagus patch.
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...
May 22, 2015
Craig LaBan: I've been doing some eating - some fantastic ( see my three-bell rave on the fine farm-to-table revamp of the Mainland Inn in Harleysville), and some not great at all ( see my Sunday take on Chinatown's new Bonchon , the Korean fried-chicken franchise that earned a rare "no bell" rating). In other news, we were all extremely concerned to learn that chef Eli Kulp of Fork, High Street on Market, and a.Kitchen was seriously injured in last week's horrific Amtrak accident.
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)
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.
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.