Homecoming 2021: Taste at the Bay

Sign up booth outside of Glenn Hubert Library. Natalie La Roche PantherNOW

By: Natalie La Roche // Contributing Writer

FIU Panthers were invited to a selection of local food places for the Taste of the Bay homecoming event. The event took place on Oct. 19 and ran from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Students could enjoy free samples and meals at discounted prices after signing up at the event booth outside of Glenn Hubert Library. Individuals could choose the voucher for specific locations or opt to receive a full pack of vouchers. 

A total of nine places participated in Taste of the Bay, all with a variety of selections. Sweet Delight Cheesecakes, Vybe 305, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Arigatai Sushi, and Fatboy’s Wings and Tings were in the mix, in addition to vegan options like Just Salad, the Squeeze Juice Bar, KC Healthy Cooking, and Billy’s Pub Too.

“I just chose restaurants that are specifically in the area… more restaurants people don’t know [about] because it’s a way of people getting knowledge of the restaurant and it’s a way to give the restaurant opportunity to gain clientele,” says junior Alyshia Dolce, Assistant Director of BBC Programming. 

This year is the first year that students go to the locations instead of the vendors coming to campus. Dolce decided to organize it this way so the event was more Covid safe. Bus rides were offered for students from BBC to the restaurants. 

Arigatai sushi welcomed FIU students with ready-to-go sushi rolls, but students could order from the menu at a discounted price as well. 

“I was very excited to participate,” says Arigatai owner Adriana Venthencourt. “I thought it was a great opportunity to be a community. For me as a business owner, I always wanted to position my restaurant like a neighborhood restaurant so just be part of an event that you know, like, allows students to like get to know my place, try my food. I thought it was brilliant.”

FIU students N’Dea Fitzgerald, Ann Nicole Merto, Dakota Ali, and Tre Young at Arigatai / Photo by Natalie La Roche PantherNOW

The event is good for the food vendors and for students as well. In Nothing Bundt Cakes, student Melissa Hernandez says that one of the perks of the event is that it helps students go out in the area and socialize with new people. 

“I didn’t even know half [of] these places were around!” says student Ana Cedeño at Arigatai. Her classes are at the MMC Campus, and she says that the buses were a good feature to make the event accessible to all students. 

Though it might have looked a little different than previous years, Taste at the Bay was a successful homecoming event that brought people together.