Gulfport Vying for National 'Best for Food' Crown

Winner named this week; menus honor Rand McNally/USA Today contest through July 23

Monday, July 18, 2011

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (July 18, 2011) - Gulfport has been producing award-winning art and artists for years, but a recent wave of eclectic eateries have added an additional element through the art of food.

The quaint St. Pete/Clearwater area community nestled along Boca Ciega Bay is one of six small-towns from across the country to be named finalists in the 'Best for Food' category of Rand McNally/USA Today 'Best of the Road' competition.

Boasting 22 restaurants---most of which can be found within walking distance to one another on the waterfront---Gulfport received the highest number of votes in its category during preliminary public voting.

The team assigned to investigate the food finalists---Jim and Bonnie Parr, also known as the 'Fun Finders'---visited Gulfport earlier this month for a taste of everything the artsy haven has to offer. You can watch a video recap of their visit by clicking here.

"I am so proud of Gulfport," said Lori Rosso, President, Gulfport Chamber of Commerce. "The quality of what we have to offer is what got us to be finalists and the welcome the Fun Finders team received when they visited was phenomenal. It is what this 'hidden gem' is all about."

To celebrate the ranking, 15 participating Gulfport restaurants have crafted a 'Best of the Road Sampler Plate.' Plates at each location will remain on that restaurant's menu through at least Saturday, July 23. 

Area restaurants participating in the offering include: Backfin Blue Cafe, Habana Cafe, Isabelle's at Peninsula Inn & Spa, Island Flavors and 'Tings, La Cote Basque Winehouse, O'Maddy's Bar and Grille, Peg's Cantina & Brewpub, Neptune Grill, Pia's Trattoria, Smokin' J's BBQ, Stella's Deli, T & Me Tea Co., Tangelo's Grille, Village Pub and Yummy's.

In addition to food, winning cities for 'Most Beautiful,' 'Most Patriotic,' 'Most Fun' and 'Friendliest' will be announced on July 21 at the annual Destination Marketing Association International conference in New Orleans and printed the following day in USA Today.

Visit the contest page for more information on 'Best of the Road' and tidbits on each category's finalists.

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida.

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For more information: VisitStPeteClearwater.com
Contact: Public Relations Manager Josh Hall: Josh@VisitSPC.com
Phone: 727.464.7223

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