Good morning, good people. You’re reading The Inquirer Morning Newsletter, catching you up on all the news that’s fit to email. Today we look at restaurant critic Craig LaBan’s best places to eat and drink in the Philly area, explore the continuing fallout from a massive 1997 tax-lien sale, and dig into sports radio host Angelo Cataldi’s retirement plans.

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— Tommy Rowan (@tommyrowan,

Craig LaBan’s 10 best restaurants in Philly in 2021

Restaurant critic Craig LaBan hasn’t eased back into eating out in recent months.

He plunged right back into restaurant dining with an excitement and enthusiasm for those culinary experiences that were mostly denied to us over the course of the pandemic.

And now that he’s made his way through dozens of eateries in the Philly region, he’s ready to report back.

So what’s the hot new spot? Who has the best cocktails?

What are his top spots in the Philly dining scene right now?

Let’s start with a spotlight on eight restaurants that are mastering Philly’s tasting-menu trend.

Read about the spots where bartenders go for the best drinks in Philly to cleanse the palate.

Followed by his list of 25 of the most memorable (mostly) new restaurants he can’t wait to return to.

And for the main course, his Top 10 restaurants in Philly right now.

Bon appetit.

A decades-old money-making scheme has trapped hundreds of poor Philly blocks in limbo

As sheriff’s tax sales resume after a months-long pandemic hiatus, advocates are growing concerned.

They’re fearful of losing their community gardens or side lots, or hundreds of other properties eyed for affordable housing or other developmental strategies.

At the root of the problem is continuing fallout from a massive 1997 tax-lien sale, which proved a “worst-case scenario” when many liens proved uncollectable. That left thousands of lots under control of a bank that held the liens.

Now, advocates are calling for political will to preserve green space and protect the city’s poorest primarily Black neighborhoods from speculators and predatory developers.

Reporter Samantha Melamed has the story.

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That's interesting

👻Halloween season is upon us, so check out our guide to a few (supposedly) haunted spots in the Philly region ... if you dare.

🏒With one preseason game remaining, the Flyers are nearly down to their opening night roster.

🎻Yo-Yo Ma helped kick off the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2021-22 season. And, apparently, the orchestra’s newly relaxed dress code was a big hit.

👀Phillies president Dave Dombrowski says there hasn’t been any consideration to picking up manager Joe Girardi’s option for 2023.


“The condition of Philadelphia’s prisons is unsustainable, dangerous, and unacceptable. It is up to Mayor Kenney to take steps to solve this crisis before anyone else is harmed,” writes City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart, who takes exception to Philly’s shockingly inhumane prison conditions.

What we're reading

  • In The Atlantic, a veteran who served in the Air Force from 2008 to 2013 explains how the military trained him to hunt humans. And he reflects on what he learned after putting the training to use.

  • In The Ringer, an oral history of That Thing You Do! 25 years after the Tom Hanks-directed film tugged at heartstrings, and left everyone in the audience humming and tapping their toes.

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