Rutgers Star's Best Dish of the Year: Gift Cards to City Market

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Paul Mulcahy’s slickest pass of the year came earlier this week, when the Rutgers men's basketball point guard dished out gift cards to the dedicated personnel who often work behind the scenes at Jersey Mike’s Arena.

Thanks to a partnership with New Brunswick City Market, he gave out about 260 gift cards to members of the Rutgers pep band, student managers, and security staff at the arena.

The senior said there was no better way to take care of those who have taken care of him than to treat them to some Shepherd’s pie at The Blackthorn, a pesto pizza at Harvest Moon Brewery & Café, a bacon cheddar burger at Tavern on George or a delicious meal at one of the other participating City Center restaurants.

Following the Scarlet Knights’ game against Minnesota earlier this week which included Senior Day festivities, Mulcahy gathered on the court with several members of game-day staff. The moment was captured by a video by Knights of the Raritan, a name, image, and likeness collective.

“I appreciate all of you guys,” he told them. “For four years, you guys have been incredible. I want to say thank you to all of you guys personally. As individuals, what you guys do for us is more than appreciated.”

He also shared his appreciation with the Rutgers band, indicating that their musical talents are as much a part of the game-day experience as Clifford Omoruyi’s thunderous dunks or Caleb McConnell’s steals.

“You guys are incredible,” Mulcahy said to the band members assembled in the stands. “What you guys do I’ve always had a big appreciation for. You guys are at all our sporting events. You guys are more than appreciated by everybody. At this university. I’m super thankful for what you guys do for us. I know it’s hard to get people going when stuff’s not going well. Trust me, I understand. But I just wanted to say thank you.”

Mulcahy has become a fan-favorite among Rutgers fans, with his signature headband and all-out hustle on the court. He leads the Scarlet Knights with 137 assists this season, and his 8.2 points-per-game average places him fifth on the team.

He and the Scarlet Knights took another step toward securing a third straight NCAA Tournament berth with Thursday’s 62-50 win over Michigan in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament. 

That sends them into a noon matchup Friday (March 10) against No. 1 seed Purdue. On Jan. 2, Rutgers pulled off a stunning 65-64 upset of the Boilermakers, who were ranked No. 1 in the nation at that time.

Another victory over Purdue would be about as sweet as the tres leches dessert at The Frog and The Peach.

“Paul knows there’s no better place to buy people dinner than downtown New Brunswick,” said Doug Schneider, the owner/operator of Tavern on George, Clydz, and The Olive Branch in New Brunswick.

The restaurants that participated in the offer include Blackthorn Restaurant & Irish Pub, Catherine Lombardi, Christopher's at the Heldrich, Clydz, Cuzins Seafood, Dashen Ethiopian Cuisine, Delta's Restaurant, Destination Dogs, Douglas Pizza & Grill, Esquina Latina Restaurant & Lounge, Fat Cactus Mexican Cantina, Filippo's Famous Pizza, George Street Ale House, and Glass Woods Tavern.

Also, Harvest Moon Brewery & Café, Indochine Vietnamese Restaurant, Old Man Rafferty's, Panico's, Rakkii Ramen, Roosterspin, Sakana Sushi & Japanese Cuisine, Salt Seafood & Oyster Bar, Social Room Bar & Kitchen, Stage Left Steak, Steakhouse 85, Tavern on George, The Frog and The Peach, and Veganized.

Story by: Chuck O'Donnell
Photo provide by: Knights of the Raritan