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Business Observer Thursday, Jun. 11, 2020 3 weeks ago

Stats reveal how we comfort ourselves with food

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Pandemic meal choices run the gamut in the region.

From bacon and eggs to lobster rolls to cheeseburgers — lots of cheeseburgers —people on the west coast of Florida have feasted on a wide variety of meals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This delicious data comes courtesy of food delivery app Bite Squad, which analyzed the most popular dishes ordered by customers from Lakeland through Naples for delivery since March. The food choices are varied, and so too are the places people are ordering from. The top 10 lists, broken into six regions, include such chains as Hooters, Five Guys and Tijuana Flats and local neighborhood spots, like Pepo's Cuban Café in St. Petersburg and Perrada Colombiana in Tampa. (Five Guys makes the top 10 list in four areas, and Tijuana Flats and Chick-fil-A make two top 10 lists.)

Chicken wings show up often in the lists, as does pizza. Asian food is popular, too including ramen noodles, pad thai dishes and egg rolls. One more foodie note? Although Tampa and St. Pete differ widely in the No. 1 choice — bacon and eggs in Tampa vs. a poke bowl in St. Pete — the cities agree when it comes to treats: Cold Stone Creamery is No. 4 in both regions.

Fort Myers

  1. Original hooters-style wings, Hooters
  2. Cheese pizza, Citrola's on College
  3. Pad thai, Bangkok Thai Restaurant
  4. Uhmaze bowl, Uhmazebowls
  5. Egg rolls, Magic Wok

Lakeland

  1. Tonkotsu ramen, Sabu Ramen
  2. Wings, Winners Circle
  3. One topping pizza, J. Burns Pizza
  4. Crab Rangoon, Shanghai Express
  5. Best burger in town, Champs Sports Grill
  6. Cheeseburger from Five Guys

Naples

  1. Traditional 16-inch large pizza, New York Pizza & Pasta
  2. Bone-in wings, Hurricane Grill & Wings
  3. Star luca pizza, Mister 01 Extraordinary Pizza
  4. Potsticker, Araya Sushi Asian Grill
  5. The original BBQ chicken chopped salad, California Pizza Kitchen

St. Petersburg

  1. Build your own poke bowl, Pacific Counter
  2. Boneless wings, Mugs Sports Bar & Grill
  3. Our blue ribbon fried chicken, PoFolks Restaurant
  4. Create your own ice cream, Cold Stone Creamery
  5. Chicken entree, Oishi Sushi & Japanese

Note: The el habano cubano sandwich from Pepo's Cuban Café is No. 9.

Tampa

  1. Bacon and eggs, Village Inn
  2. Salchipapa extreme, La Perrada Colombiana
  3. Cheeseburger, Five Guys
  4. Create your own ice cream, Cold Stone Creamery
  5. Oxtails, Jamaica Jamaica Island Cuisine

Sarasota

  1. Better-for-you burger, Smacks Burgers & Shakes
  2. Full-order wings, Origin Craft Beer & Pizza Cafe
  3. Chick-fil-A Nuggets, Chick-fil-A
  4. Pad thai, Isan Thai Restaurant
  5. Google roll, Pacific Rim

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