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. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Tuesday May 30

    Events

    Finding Neverland: The hit Broadway show follows the story behind playwright J.M. Barrie as he struggles to find inspiration to create Peter Pan, until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. 7:30 p.m., Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, …

    Mitchell Wray, Jordan Cole, Finn Faulconer and Ben Krieger as the Llewelyn Davies Boys in the National Tour of Finding Neverland. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
  2. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  3. Restaurant review: Features Gastropub in Riverview is fine as movie theater fare, but unimpressive otherwise

    Food & Dining

    Movies aren't exactly dying. Despite all the sturm und drang of predictions that Netflix and streaming videos would kill the cinema, global box office receipts hit $38.6 billion in 2016, a 1 percent gain over the previous year. But that doesn't mean going to the cinema is precisely what it was a generation …

    Soft pretzels are displayed with a beer at the Features Gastropub in the Riverview 14 GDX  theater in Gibsonton, Fla. on Thursday, May 25, 2017.   The 5,900-square-foot Features Gastropub open in the . This element of the project is the brainchild of Philadelphia chef Brian Duffy, who appears frequently on NBC's The Today Show and the Spike TV show Bar Rescue
  4. From the food editor: I love that food is a huge part of Master of None's transcendent second season

    Cooking

    Deep into a late-night binge of Master of None, Aziz Ansari's Netflix series that returned for its second season May 12, I realized I was laying as far back on my couch as possible, blanket clutched up to my chin, eyebrows permanently raised.

    Dev (Aziz Ansari) and Arnold (Eric Wareheim) eat lunch in Modena, Italy, in the second season of "Master of None."
  5. Three 'MasterChef' contestants from the Tampa Bay area talk cooking inspiration and more

    Cooking

    When Gordon Ramsay's MasterChef begins its eighth season tonight, the Tampa Bay area will have three contestants to root for. A marketing director from Tampa, a dentist and Palm Harbor native, and an employee for a steel supply company are all trying to impress a trio of judges with their home-cooking skills.

    Jeff Philbin, from Tampa, left, Palm Harbor native Paola Annoni Patel, and Danny Flores, of Land 'O Lakes, will be competing on the season premiere of "Masterchef."