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Feb 6, 2008 09:05 AM

wanted: gourmet box/picnic lunch Tampa/St.Pete

I'm looking for ideas on where to find a nice gourmet-ish box/picnic lunch for a group of 30-something quasi-hipster women heading out for a metro-sexual guided afternoon shopping trip this wekeend.

Panera is what I'm trying to avoid. Lonnie's Sandwiches is a little run-of-the-mill for this downtown St. Pete group. I've never been to Pane Rustica, Wright's Gourmet, or Mise en Place but from what I've read they may be good choices. Any and all ideas are greatly appreciated.


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  1. Mazzaro's in St. Pete.

    I am confused...are you buying the lunch the same day as the shopping? Where will you dine? St. Pete or Tampa?

    1 Reply
    1. re: joan

      Hi Joan,

      Thanks for the reply. We actually go to Mazzaro's quite a bit (and the lunches are top-notch) but what I'm looking for in this case is a source for an somewhat elegant box lunch that I can provide for a group of women to eat while traveling to Orlando to go shopping. They'll be eating in the car (hence the portability factor) but I'd like to make nicer than your average Panera wrap.

    2. Wrights Gourmet has absolutely wonderful sandwiches, side salads & killer desserts. Beef Martini & Golden Gate are both favorites. They do have box lunches & party trays available.

      1 Reply
      1. re: meatn3

        Oh, that Golden Gate is totally out of hand. I pitty people who live in Tampa and haven't had this sandwich. Chutney, pickles, roast pork, bacon, it's good.

      2. I think Pane Rustica would fit the bill--delicious sandwiches, thin pizzas, and salads, all baked goods, including bread, made on the premises. To me, Wright's is more of a deli-- a good deli, which makes it rare here, but really just a deli. Mise en Place may be too grand to make box lunches.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Miss E

          Miss E, I totally agree that there is nothing "hipster" or "metro-sexual" at Wrights. It's just that he got me thinking about that sandwich. Pane Rustica probably is the way to go with the crowd that you are catering to.

          1. re: CFishman

            I keep wondering what a "metro-sexual guided afternoon shopping trip" is all about for "30-something quasi-hipster women" wanting a box lunch. Sounds kinky to me.

            1. re: CFishman

              Thanks Joan, meatn3, Miss E and CFishman,

              Your comments have really helped. Me thinks I'll send the ladies to Pane Rustica and drag all the husbands across the Gandy to Wrights! Much obliged.

          2. Have you ever considered Honeybaked Ham in S Tampa? They have great specialty sandwiches not your run of the mill and their sides are to die for. Plus, I found out they have great desserts if you ask about them. The chocolate mousse cake is sinful and the strawberry short cake is a plate of heaven.

            1. Roy's is doing lunch now and I think they may have a bento box kind of thing. Not sure how portable they could make it, though.