Hungry As a Bear: Fresh Eats


Hi there Brunonians! My name is Michelle Zabat. I’m your friendly first-year foodie, originally from marvelous Michigan. If you’ve ever wondered what the dining scene is like at Brown University, look no further than Hungry As a Bear. I’m here to share the scoop on all things delicious both at Brown and around Providence. Dig in!

Let me start off by saying that I’m extremely excited to be your blogger for Hungry As a Bear. I’m the kind of person that stalks food blogs and whips up kitchen concoctions in my spare time at home, so the opportunity to get to combine my culinary inclination and my love of Brown is absolutely amazing!

So now that I’ve had the chance to gush, let me start off by introducing myself. Hello! My name is Michelle Zabat. I am a proud member of the Class of 2018, and although I’ve been here for just a few weeks, I already know the next four years are going to be amazing (cliche, I know, but I promise it’s true!). Currently, I’m undecided on a concentration, but I’m expecting it will be in the sciences (possibly Health & Human Biology). I am originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan, which is around a thirteen hour drive from Providence. I’m crossing my fingers that the winters here aren’t as bad as they were at home–we had the snowiest winter ever this past year! However, frigid winters do make for good hot chocolate and apple crisp weather… Yum…

But enough about academics–let’s get back to the good stuff! Although I played around with it this past summer, the start of my college career also marks a shift to pescetarianism. Basically, I’m a vegetarian who also eats seafood. It’s been going amazingly so far, and I’m excited that I get to start this journey with all of you. Wish me luck!

Anyway, now that introductions are out of the way, I thought that for my inaugural blog post I’d share a few of the tips and tricks I’ve learned so far about dining at and around Brown! 

With two “traditional” all-you-can-eat dining halls, a whole host of delicious retail eateries, and snack bars in all the popular study spots, there’s never a shortage of options. I’ve only been here a few weeks, so based off initial impressions, here are some of the top food tips my fellow freshmen and I seem to have picked up so far.

1. Breakfast at the Blue Room: On the mornings you roll out of bed and need a quick pick-me-up before class, the Blue Room is definitely the place to go. Since it’s right in the middle of campus, it’s pretty accessible, especially if you live in Keeney Quad (one of the biggest first-year dorms on campus). Personally I’m a fan of their delicious strawberry or blueberry parfaits, but if you’re craving a treat they have an amazing pastries/baked goods selection. There’s a multitude of things to choose from, including different muffins, chocolate and almond croissants, and hearty bagels.

2. Chicken Finger Fridays at the V-Dub: The Vernon-Woolley dining hall, commonly known as the V-Dub, is known for the delicious chicken fingers it serves up every Friday afternoon (and for people like me, they offer vegan nuggets as well!). Factor in the waffle-making station that’s available all day, and you have a winning lunch combination to celebrate the start of the weekend. Make sure you get there quickly though, because the lines pile up around peak mealtimes!

3. Sunday Brunch at the Ratty: The Sharpe Refectory, affectionately referred to as “The Ratty” by Brunonians, boasts white tablecloths and a delicious make-your-own-crepe bar for Sunday brunch (in addition to all the other yummy breakfast options it usually offers!). If you can force yourself to get out of bed early enough, be sure to stop by and indulge. Bon appétit!

4. Jo’s: This eatery is arguably one of the best dinner options on campus. In addition to the traditional grill station, custom-made salads, and Jamba Juice smoothes (yes, you read that correctly!), you can also get quesadillas, grilled cheese, breakfast sandwiches, tacos, and dumplings. Everything here is made-to-order and totally customizable. The hard part is deciding what to get!

5. Late-Night Vegetarian at the Ivy Room: Nestled under the Ratty’s main dining room is the Ivy Room, a little eatery that’s open for lunch and dinner. However, at night, the Ivy Room becomes and exclusively vegetarian snack bar. They offer everything from refreshing fresh fruit smoothies to fantastic falafel wraps. Even if you’re a carnivore, you’re sure to find something that will satisfy those late-night cravings!

Those are just a few of the exciting things I’ve discovered about all the food options available on camps. I’m excited to share even more as I get to know the campus and the school! Thanks for joining me for my very first blog post, and I can’t wait to talk to you next week!

Michelle ❤

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Just want to chat? Send me an email at


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