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Preview: Inquirer Columnist - Craig LaBan

Dining Critic Craig LaBan

The Inquirer's Dining Critic

Published: Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:15:10 GMT2018-02-22T23:15:10Z

Copyright: Philadelphia Media Network

Pasta revolution hits extruder overdrive, and creativity, collaborations, and profits emerge

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:15:10 GMT2018-02-22T23:15:10Z

A boom in pastas being made on small extruders in restaurants has unlocked surprising creativity and chef collaborations. The two largest manufacturers of those machines in the country are based in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Standout pasta from Philly chefs

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:58:53 GMT2018-02-22T13:58:53Z

Up your pasta game and give some extra zing to your sauce with the products featured in Market Basket this week.

The best Philly versions of New England-style IPAs

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:57:19 GMT2018-02-22T13:57:19Z

I've complained for years about the over-hopping of IPAs as the West Coast style took over American craft-beer culture in increasingly exaggerated examples.

Keen evokes quirks of a classic, but isn't sharp enough

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 13:56:38 GMT2018-02-22T13:56:38Z

Keen takes aim at reviving a space made famous by the long-running Astral Plane. An epic number of kitchen issues, though, hold it back.

Cheese of the Month: In praise of Pecorino Romano, a sheep's milk cheese with swagger

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 18:56:23 GMT2018-02-19T18:56:23Z

A high-quality sheep's milk Pecorino Romano deserves just as much consideration for your pasta as Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Lancaster's gastronomic leap continues

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 20:26:01 GMT2018-02-18T20:26:01Z

"It's much more than the all-you-can-eat Amish buffets we used to hear about."

German beers get crafty, creative (and hoppy!) at coming Bierfest

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 12:45:36 GMT2018-02-16T12:45:36Z

German craft brewing, with both new American influences and a back-to-tradition push, will be pouring on display at the seventh annual Philly Bierfest.

Crispy spicy pork, from Taipei to Susanna Foo's Sansom Street kitchen

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:36:14 GMT2018-02-15T14:36:14Z

Susanna Foo has continued to make improvements to her SuGa on Sansom Street, with more direct regional Chinese influences and bargain bento boxes for lunch.

Where to eat on Valentine's Day

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:01:46 GMT2018-02-14T19:01:46Z

The holiday is one of the worst nights of the year to eat out. Try zigging where others zag.

Ditch the Dilly Dilly for a local beer with Philly style

Mon, 12 Feb 2018 20:56:33 GMT2018-02-12T20:56:33Z

Few new creations capture that special combo of Philly attitude and sophisticated craftsmanship quite like the latest edition of Second District's "RAF" series of wild sour ales: Rude AF.

At Royal Boucherie, Elmi and Co. conjure historic vibe and updated brasserie flavors

Thu, 08 Feb 2018 18:15:02 GMT2018-02-08T18:15:02Z

Star chef Nicholas Elmi has collaborated with the gastropub masters behind Khyber Pass to create a moody brasserie that feels like it belongs in Old City.

Guess where Craig LaBan ate this week

Wed, 07 Feb 2018 15:35:11 GMT2018-02-07T15:35:11Z

Take our Crumb Tracker quiz.

A cauliflower rethink for an indulgent breakfast classic

Mon, 05 Feb 2018 20:40:40 GMT2018-02-05T20:40:40Z

Cauliflower does double duty in this creamy update of the classic diner breakfast dish.

Cheesesteak meets barbecue in new hybrid sandwich hit

Thu, 01 Feb 2018 12:16:10 GMT2018-02-01T12:16:10Z

When the cheesesteak tradition meats a smoker, a new star sandwich is born.

This Gibson offers a sip of elegance, craftsmanship, and history

Wed, 31 Jan 2018 20:57:46 GMT2018-01-31T20:57:46Z

Don't underestimate a Gibson. It may be transparent, but a good one is complex with flavor.

The best places to watch the Super Bowl in Philadelphia, according to Craig LaBan

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 22:17:33 GMT2018-01-30T22:17:33Z

Places with local flair to watch the Super Bowl, other than the usual sports bar suspects.

Guess where Craig LaBan ate this week

Tue, 30 Jan 2018 18:31:55 GMT2018-01-30T18:31:55Z

Take our Crumb Tracker quiz.

Eagle-up your table with Bird-themed ingredients

Mon, 29 Jan 2018 20:53:35 GMT2018-01-29T20:53:35Z

Artisan "Underdog" franks and Eagle-shaped cheese keep the game day eats on theme.