Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney at a still under construction Lolita | Photo by Jack Cotter
There’s always a lot of going on along the Thirteenth Street empire of Valerie Safran and Marcie Turney, although recently, it has been extra newsworthy.
Craig LaBan visited the post BYOT Lolita and rewarded the Safran and Turney’s original restaurant two-bells, though he predictably does gripe about the noise.
What’s happening at 13th and Locust »
The Winos | Illustration by Jessi Falcone
We here at Foobooz certainly enjoy Philadelphia’s food scene but that doesn’t mean we don’t occasionally roll our eyes at some of the other dining room’s tables. Here is our list of the thirteen kinds of diners you’ll find in Philadelphia. Who do you recognize, what behavior are you guilty of?
Compiled by Isabelle Gallicchio, Ela Torres and Alex Tewfik
Read more »
Diving Horse | Photo by Jason Varney
It’s Friday, the ocean is calling your name, it’s going to be absolutely beautiful both today and tomorrow. Leave work now. The Internet has spoken, and here’s all you’ll need to know about where and what to eat this weekend. Read more »
The Inquirer’s Craig LaBan goes to Lancaster and finds that food scene has come a long way from all-you-can-eat smorgasbords. Now, some of what’s coming out of that fertile land is being served locally in a new crop of restaurants and bars.
The Lancaster food scene, “totally happening” [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Craig LaBan’s online chat this afternoon will feature LaBan talking with City Paper’s Adam Erace and Philadelphia magazine’s Trey Popp. Stop by Philly.com at 2 p.m. to ask the trio about restaurant criticism, anonymity or what their favorite restaurant is (because we’re sure they never get that question).
UPDATE: Here’s the direct link to the archived chat.
Craig LaBan Restaurant Chat [Philly.com]
Illustration by Kagan McLeod
There’s been a lot of talk lately about what kind of restaurant town we really want to be. In the Philadelphia magazine that’s on the stands right now, I’ve got an essay asking what it means to our restaurant scene when being merely great is no longer a guarantee of success. We’ve been writing an awful lot about Volver—Jose Garces‘s new high-stakes (and high price) gamble at the Kimmel Center which now stands as the most expensive dinner in town by a long stretch. And as we all know by now, between knee-capping reviews from both Craig Laban and our own Trey Popp, and a whole lot of people on the streets wondering if the storied Walnut Street address might be better off if it was just turned into a Jamba Juice and ignored until all the ghosts of Le Bec-Fin have departed, Avance is having itself a very rough month.
And now, with all this in mind, I just ran across this essay over at Esquire’s “Eat Like A Man” blog which essentially lays the blame for every modern sin in restaurant-dom squarely at our feet.
Read more »
Photo by Jeff Fusco
Everytime you walk through Fujianese soup dumplings you can find a new culinary discovery. Such was the case as Craig LaBan discovered Chinese Restaurant, a nondescript storefront where LaBan finds Fujianese soup dumplings and delicate wontons. That is just one of the discoveries the Inquirer’s food critic reveals in this guide that takes you from Chinese waffles to the best duck in Chinatown.
Chinatown: The Ultimate (but never, ever complete) Eating Guide
How to speak like a ‘neighbor’ in Chinatown
The best duck in town (Gallery)
Chinatown’s flying fish
Photo by Jim Graham
Craig LaBan’s Year in Bells came out last weekend. The annual feature includes some revisits to restaurants reviewed earlier and the announcement of a Chef of the Year award.
The Saint James in Ardmore, which was skewered a year ago in its initial review has now been upgraded to a single bell (hit-or-miss). Citron & Rose, which lost its partnership with Michael Solomonov and his Zahav team maintained its two-bells, based on the strength of new chef, Karen Nicolas.
Tiffin Bistro and Red Owl Tavern rounded out the revisites. Each managed to hang on to their one bell ratings but frankly, each sounded lucky to have done so.
Chef Eli Kulp, who came to Fork and High Street on Market from New York’s Torrisi Italian Specialties was named Chef of the Year. LaBan said of Kulp’s cooking, “his knack for unexpected combos and rustic techniques (offbeat pastas, fermenting, charcuterie) produced grand presentations like his whole-duck feast – a multi-part poultry masterpiece that was among the best birds (and meatballs) I’ve ever eaten.”
Craig LaBan’s Year in Bells [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Craig LaBan has hit Center City steak-and-seafood chain Ocean Prime with a well-deserved zero bell review, his second zero bell review for 2013. Here, a summary of all of LaBan’s zero bell reviews that have appeared in the Inquirer. Read more »
Avenue of the Arts | Photo by Jeff Fusco
Craig LaBan looks at restaurants on the Avenue of the Arts. Paying special attention to what’s imminent, Jose Garces’ Volver; the reinvented, Perch Pub; and what is coming down the line, a replacement for Ted’s Montana Grill.
Avenue of the Eats: A two-way street for the arts and dining [Philadelphia Inquirer]