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Briefs: Tampa is 'most caffeinated city'

IS 'Gourmet' magazine in danger of folding?

Here's some sad news about one of America's most venerable food magazines: Gourmet magazine might not make it to the end of the year. And if it does, it might be exclusively a Web publication.

This news comes from New York financial media company 24/7 Wall St.:

"Conde Nast can no longer rely on the huge profits of the newspaper portion of the Newhouse family business. The magazine operation needs to go on a diet. Conde Nast . . . owns Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Conde Nast simply owns too many titles in this category. From 2004 to 2008, Gourmet's ad pages have dropped from 1,364 to 955, with a 24 percent drop last year. January's ad pages were down another 32 percent."

We would hate to see a magazine that has chronicled the American and global food scene since 1941 go belly-up. Gourmet has weathered tough times before. It debuted just as World War II began and food rationing was more of a reality than gourmet cooking. Let's hope editor Ruth Reichl can keep it going.

Tampa's title: 'most caffeinated city'

Feeling a bit jittery lately? Here's why.

The Big Guava is this year's most caffeinated city in the United States, according to the second annual HealthSaver Caffeinated Cities Survey, commissioned by HealthSaver, a national emerging health care discount service. California's Riverside/San Bernardino is the least caffeinated metro area.

In addition, Tampa residents surveyed took the No. 1 spot as most likely to take pain relievers that contain caffeine. For the second consecutive year, Tampa residents are the second most likely to consume caffeinated tea daily.

But, go figure, Tampa residents also ranked No. 1 in saying they are least likely to be addicted to caffeine. The city tied with Chicago in this category.

The survey was conducted to determine the caffeine consumption habits and attitudes of consumers across the United States, and to learn more about cultural views and health benefits of this morning pick-me-up, afternoon alert booster and late-night indulgence.

Books that can inspire your big-game party

You know that the Arizona Cardinals will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl in Tampa on Feb. 1. Do you know what you'll cook?

Here are some books for inspiration. (Plus, the Taste section will have party ideas and recipes next week.)

• For wing inspiration, check out Debbie Moose's Wings, which offers 50 recipes for football's favorite culinary accompaniment. Spicy Brown Ale-brined Wings and Tangy Thai Wings are nice alternatives to the typical spicy version.

• If pizza is more your style, check out Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough's aptly named Pizza, a collection of 90 creative takes on America's favorite pie.

Among the coolest sections of this book is its glossary of pizza-friendly cheeses. Weinstein and Scarbrough run down a list from Asiago to Swiss (even soy), explaining how to put each to use.

• Peggy Fallon's Great Party Dips offers 70 inspired dips — hot and cold, spicy and not, savory and sweet. Fallon has a recipe that will take care of your party, no matter what you plan to dip.

Tampa Bay area restaurant news

Jade Bistro, Pinellas Park's newest restaurant, will introduce itself on Tuesday at the height of the Asian New Year observances.

Asian fusion is the operating principle, with a heavy dose of Vietnamese. Beer and wine, affordable, lunch and dinner (closed Mondays), pretty interior. 6139 Park Blvd., Pinellas Park, (727) 544-6186

• Ciccio & Tony's restaurant group has added the Lodge as its newest concept, at the disaster-cafe location at 516 S Howard Ave. in Tampa across from MacDinton's. In our memory, the building has housed 42nd Street, Chateau SoHo, SoHo Bistro and Manny's Bistro in the past two years.

If anyone can make a go of it, it's probably the Ciccio crew.

"You know we love a challenge," said Jeff Gigante.

"As for the spot being cursed, that's what everyone said about our first Ciccio & Tony's space in NYC. We enjoyed tremendous success there.

"As for the old 42nd Street haunt, this building has great bones and has been a joy to work on."

Laura Reiley, Janet K. Keeler and Times wires

Briefs: Tampa is 'most caffeinated city' 01/20/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 3:30am]
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