Make us your home page
Instagram

From the editor: How will food delivery services like UberEATS change our dining habits?

Low on sugar, big on flavor: Mini Quinoa-Carrot Cakes.

Associated Press

Low on sugar, big on flavor: Mini Quinoa-Carrot Cakes.

The launch of UberEATS in Tampa earlier this month got us thinking about how it would compare to other existing food delivery services, from the biggies like GrubHub to more locally based services like Doorstep Delivery. The result is this week's cover story (Page 4E), in which three Tampa Bay Times writers try four services and review the experience.

The process was illuminating, and not just because I realized that poutine — a mound of french fries topped with cheese curds and gravy — is just about the most unappetizing thing that can come in a foam container.

What was most clear was that the recent growth of these delivery services has changed what the term "delivery" means. It has evolved from the times when most of the stuff you could have delivered was mediocre to begin with: pizza, Chinese food, the kind of greasy fare ideal for plunking down on the couch during movie night. Bonus: This food also tasted good cold, so you didn't have to worry about how long it took to get to you.

But now, some of these services (particularly UberEATS and FoodNow) deliver food from a large variety of places, including some where the in-person experience could easily turn into an hour-plus of table service and a large bill. These aren't just sub sandwich shops. They are places like Piquant in Hyde Park, which has $12 appetizers and $18 burgers, and Grille 116, where there is a $35.50 Chilean sea bass on the menu. Is that the kind of food you want to eat while you're sinking into your couch wearing yoga pants?

Maybe it is. Some restaurateurs think this sort of delivery service is an inevitable step for all restaurants. When everything is just a tap away, a meal from that hip new spot down the street should be, too.

But these services remove the special, eventlike quality of dining out, and I wonder what that may do to the way we relate to a certain kind of food, the kind that has been prepared thoughtfully and in ways that may not hold up if your food takes 90 minutes to reach your door.

Start the day with a healthy muffin

One of my favorite recipes I've featured in this space is for Olive Oil Zucchini Muffins. I've heard from readers that they like simple, healthy muffin recipes, too, which make for a satisfying quick breakfast when you don't have time to sit down and eat a bowl of cereal. (I like mine with a swipe of protein-packed peanut butter.) As we head into fall (I swear I felt a slight breeze today!), my thoughts have turned back to muffins.

This week's recipe for Mini Quinoa-Carrot Cakes is similar to the one for those zucchini muffins in that it's low in sugar and relies on fruit or vegetables to bulk up the "cakes," which are made in a mini muffin tin. Dress the cakes up with an optional cream cheese frosting or leave them plain and make them your new breakfast go-to.

Contact Michelle Stark at mstark@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8829. Follow @mstark17.

From the editor: How will food delivery services like UberEATS change our dining habits? 09/19/16 [Last modified: Monday, September 19, 2016 10:24am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bar review: Les Partners Lounge goes old-school in Clearwater

    Bars & Spirits

    There are some local places that I'm shocked aren't more well known, and I think that's the result of a general aversion to stepping out of one's comfort zone. I make regular concerted efforts to step outside of mine, which often leads me to strange and rewarding drinking establishments.

    Les Partners Lounge is an old-school, smoker-friendly cocktail lounge and live music venue tucked away in a nondescript shopping plaza in Island Estates.
  2. Local craft beer of the week: Plongeur a L'eponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Co.

    Bars & Spirits

    Tarpon Springs' Saint Somewhere Brewing Co. has a somewhat idiosyncratic approach to wild ale brewing, utilizing an open brewing approach involving uncovered fermenters in order to brew beer with local ambient microbes, reminiscent in some ways to the fermentation techniques used by rustic farmhouse breweries in Belgium …

     Plongeur a?€š€™L?ˆš??ponge, Saint Somewhere Brewing Company, 6/23/17  Electric Chair Sour Shandy, Angry Chair Brewing, 6/30/17   Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA, Motorworks Brewing 7/7/17
  3. ‘80s acts dominate lineup of 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival

    Blogs

    Oh, yes. Christmas is coming early this year to ‘80s fans in Florida. Disney’s Epcot Center has announced the lineup to its “Eat to the Beat” concert series that coincides with their annual International Food & Wine Festival.

  4. Equality Florida leader honored at Tampa U2 concert

    Briefs

    TAMPA — Equality Florida director Nadine Smith couldn't attend last week's U2 concert in Tampa, but she can tell you which of her friends had great seats for the June 14 show at Raymond James Stadium.

    Nadine Smith, Equality Florida founder and CEO, received a unique distinction last week when U2 included her in a montage of photos saluting activism and women leaders.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 23

    Events

    Leslie Odom Jr.: A solo concert by the Broadway star who won a Tony for his performance as Aaron Burr in Hamilton. 7 p.m., Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $35.50-$55.50. (813) 229-7827.

    Leslie Odom Jr. accepts the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical in "Hamilton"  during the 70th Annual Tony Awards  on June 12, 2016.  (Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)