“Big Bite Night,” a promotion designed to introduce Northwestern students to downtown restaurants, proved very popular Sunday.

Vikram Karandikar Jr., executive vice presdient of NU’s Associated Student Government, which helped organize the event, said, “I’ve done this three years, and this year’s turnout is overwhelming.”

Karandikar said students distributing shopping bags provided by Whole Foods ran out just 30 minutes into the 90-minute event.

About 1,500 students had been expected to show up.

Armed with fliers showing the way to 35 participating restaurants, students cruised through the downtown area getting free samples of food on a night when residence hall kitchens are often closed.

Outside Lulu’s restaurant, owner Dan Kelch was handing out discount coupons to students.

Kelch, board chair of the downtown marketing group EvMark, says he started the annual event nine years ago.

“’Big Bite’ is a classic win-win,” Kelch said.

EvMark and the restaurants want to welcome students to Evanston “through their taste buds,” and with the food service in the dorms closed, it’s a great time to do it, he added.

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