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In battle of favorites, my winners

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By ERNEST HOOPER, Times Columnist

© St. Petersburg Times
published November 2, 2002


In the spirit of Chrissy vs. Janet, Dick Sargent vs. Dick York and the Beatles vs. the Rolling Stones, we present another round of local favorites pitted against their natural rivals.

* * *

Panera Bread vs. Chatterbox: This is a comparison that really gets a rise out of me, and I'm not just talking about yeast. I'm talking about hops and barley, which cannot be found at Panera. It doesn't have a juke box either, so I really don't understand why it even exists. I guess something has to hold up the south wall of Great Clips. If it sounds like I'm bitter about my favorite bar being razed for some high-falutin' croissant factory, give yourself an "A" for reading interpretation.

* * *

Bubba The Love Sponge vs. M.J. Kelli: I've dined with M.J. and I've never dined with Bubba. For that, I'm thankful. And so are a lot of pigs.

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St. Pete Times Forum vs. Ice Palace: Being the company man that I am (or at least purport to be), I must heartily endorse the renaming of Tampa's premiere arena. However, I would like to reiterate that it was not the paper's decision to reduce the size of plastic beer cups at Lightning games. Nor do we have tickets for sale for the Korn concert or Sesame Street On Ice. And while we are willing to give directions, we can't help you if you actually go looking for the St. Pete Times Forum in St. Petersburg.

* * *

International Plaza vs. WestShore Plaza: I surveyed my single male friends and they struggled to choose one over the other. One guy said, "They both have good-looking women, but you can actually talk to the women at WestShore." My single women friends, more interested in shopping than sightseeing, prefer the bargains of WestShore. Me? I shop at Wal-Mart, so what it really comes down is who has the better food court. IP wins that.

* * *

Chuck Lamar vs. Katherine Harris : Both the Devil Rays general manager and Florida's former secretary of state have made mistakes. The difference is Lamar is trying to make up for his gaffes, while Harris just continues to wear make-up.

* * *

Hal McRae vs. Larry Rothschild: Who cares? We got Piniella.

* * *

Four Green Fields vs. MacDintons: Both claim to be Irish bars, both serve pints of Harp, both have really loud live music. But there's only one thatched roof in Tampa, and there's only one place I can walk into, raise my index finger in the air and immediately get a beer. Besides, this column was written at Four Green Fields on a laptop computer.

* * *

Dunkin' Donuts vs. Krispy Kreme: I grew up on Krispy Kreme, so Dunkin' Donuts has no chance on my personal palate. The problem is I don't eat food from gas stations, and the only place I can get Krispy Kreme east of U.S. 301 is at gas stations. Can we get a Krispy Kreme store in Brandon, please?

* * *

Subway vs. Blimpies: Most days, I would pick Mott & Hester Deli over either chain. Plus, there are a preponderance of Subways and Blimpies in gas stations, and you know how I feel about that. But if the fat guy really lost all that weight eating at Subway, you gotta give it the nod. A place named after helium-filled dirigibles makes you fat just by osmosis.

* * *

Mac's vs. The Rack: Mac's has food until 3 a.m. and cheap Yuengling beer. The Rack, clearly fans of Prince's old music, has purple pool tables. Call it a toss-up since Mac's may not be with us forever.

* * *

Green Iguana vs. Green Parrot: The Green Iguana has better burgers, better grouper nuggets and better live bands. But the Green Parrot is the only place where you can see three softball-playing women in polyester shorts give their karaoke rendition of the Eagles' Desperado.

* * *

In case you were wondering, it's Janet, Dick York and the Beatles. Everybody knows that.

That's all I'm saying.

-- Ernest Hooper can be reached at (813) 226-3406 or Hooper@sptimes.com .

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