The students started their Carolina food tour at Jbarra’s on W. Davie Street, and then made stops at four other restaurants as part of a walking and bus tour of downtown Raleigh’s restaurants.
One of their stops during the walking tour was at Moore Square for a photo under the giant bronze acorn that symbolizes Raleigh being called the City of Oaks. A similar bronze acorn is dropped on New Year’s Eve during Raleigh’s First Night celebrations.
A total of 25 participated in the event, including 16 Hamilton Scholars and seven international exchange students studying at the College of Management this fall. Michelle Koehler and Dr. Helga Braunbeck, Hamilton Scholars advisors for the College of Management and College of Humanities and Social Sciences, respectively, also participated. The international students represented China, Finland, France, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan. The College of Management’s Hamilton Scholars have served as student mentors for the international students studying at the college this semester.
The walking tour included stops at the new Fayetteville Street Plaza, and Tir Na Nog, Busy Bee, 18 Seaboard and Zely & Ritz. The food samples included mocha, tater tots, and fried green tomatoes. The informal event allowed the students one more opportunity for cultural sharing.
Yevgeniya (Jane) Kohan, a senior Hamilton Scholar studying business administration with a concentration in marketing and emphasis on East and Southeast Asia, said the event “indeed was a great opportunity to introduce the beautiful city of Raleigh to my wonderful mentee Hsiao-Hui and also to meet some of the other Hamilton Scholars and exchange students. The tour was fantastic, and hopefully will become an annual tradition. It was especially fun learning some of the fun historical facts about the city of Raleigh. Who knew Raleigh was the city of oaks?” Her favorite stop on the tour? Dessert at Zely & Ritz.
Christopher Prosser, a sophomore Hamilton Scholar studying business administration, said he joined the tour for the opportunity to interact with the foreign exchange students, and “to try some foods I haven’t tried before, to learn about Raleigh’s history, and to find out where some good restaurants and bars are.” Their tour guide pointed out some of Raleigh’s other restaurants as part of their walking tour. Prosser said the tater tots and fries at Busy Bees were “really good, but my favorite was 18 Seaboard’s fried green tomatoes and Zely & Ritz’s honeycomb ice cream.”
Zely & Ritz is not usually open on Sundays, but did open up for the tour group. The event was coordinated by Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours. Transportation to the more distant restaurants was provided by Raleigh’s new R-line bus.
The College of Management has 70 students actively participating in the Hamilton Scholars program.