Prefrosh Preview: Learning to love (or at least tolerate) Leo’s


Editor’s Note: For this week’s freshman feature we’ll be giving the Class of 2013 information about the gustatory delights that await them at Georgetown. The feature is split up in to two separate posts, one on Leo’s and another on other dining options. The post about restaurants will run later this morning.

As an introduction to the subject, you may want to watch the Heckler‘s extremely informative “Georgetown Freshmen Education Series: I Know How to Eat!” video.

It’s really not worth complaining that much about our errant dining hall; as long as meal plans are foisted on us through sophomore year, it’s simply a cross we all have to bear.

There are some coping mechanisms you’ll develop, though. Here are Vox‘s tips for dealing with Leo’s:

  • Unless you’ve got a prodigious appetite or a passion for bland cafeteria food, there’s really no reason why you’ll need to get a plan with more than 14 meals a week.
  • Keep track of your meals and plan your Grab ‘n Go consumption accordingly. The weekly meal cycle starts on Saturday, so by Wednesday or Thursday it should be pretty clear whether you’re going to be maxed out or whether you’re going to have lots of unused meals. If it’s the latter, start picking up Grab ‘n Go whenever you’re at Leo’s, either to store up or to donate to the Grab ‘n Give program.
  • Don’t be afraid to go alone and study. If you can find a free outlet (most are along the wall on the lower level) and don’t mind a little ambient noise, you’ll save a lot by getting your caffeine and study snacks from Leo’s rather than Midnight Mug.

More tips after the jump!

  • Late night is really terrible. Why waste a meal on a limited selection of reheated leftovers? If you can’t make regular dinner hours you’re better off getting Grab ‘n Go ahead of time and saving it.
  • Invest in some Tupperware. Aside from basketball, stealing from Leo’s is probably the most popular sport on campus.
  • If you want short lines, fresh(er) food and prime seating choices, show up to meals early.
  • Be explicit about how much sauce you want added to your dish when you’re using the make-your-own pasta and stir-fry stations. Many of the cooks tend to have pretty heavy hands, so speak up if you want to keep the goopiness to a minimum.
  • Everyone knows about the much ballyhooed Chicken Finger Thursdays, but Mozzarella Stick Fridays are also great.
  • Variety is key. If you get sucked into a pattern where you somehow always end up with the same foods on your plate, make an effort to mix it up. Repetition means you’ve probably found a dish you actually like, which is great, but if you eat it ad nauseum you’ll likely burn out on it within a few weeks.

11 Comments on “Prefrosh Preview: Learning to love (or at least tolerate) Leo’s

  1. “Don’t be afraid to go alone and study. If you can find a free outlet (most are along the wall on the lower level) and don’t mind a little ambient noise, you’ll save a lot by getting your caffeine and study snacks from Leo’s rather than Midnight Mug.”

    Ah…I have some good memories of those 5-8 hour marathons. Only thing is that you need to take at least two showers to wash the smell of Leo’s out of your skin.

  2. The easiest way to brand yourself a lame, boring person in the eyes of your peers is to constantly complain about Leo’s.

    Most people go in there with a bad attitude and this self-fulfills in the meal outcome.

    Go in there with a plan. I hate people who walk a 5k going back and forth trying to select food choices when the difference is not that large and really not worth wasting time over.

    Never wait in a line. There is NEVER something in Leo’s worth wasting your time for.

    ALWAYS know your meal count. If you’ve missed a few from the weekends, know when you are free to stash a grab and go. Grab and go is not open on friday evenings so bake this into your calculations.

    Finally: don’t waste food. Surprisingly, someone actually does pay for the food you throw out at Leo’s. Do you know who pays? You do. Next semester. While it is rational to waste up to the point where it is too costly to throw the food out since you are only paying like 1/(weighted number of meal plan subscribers) of the future cost, do understand that if everybody does this, you will, on average, pay for the full cost of your waste in the future. DONT WASTE FOOD. IT IS STUPID. YOU ARE STUPID FOR DOING IT.

  3. I was with you until the math.

    There are totally things in Leo’s worth waiting in line for. Chicken fingers, pasta, mozzarella sticks, the fajitas.

  4. If you never eat breakfast and don’t plan to eat there on the weekends for dinner (trust me – you don’t want to), then go for 10 meals a week.

  5. Pingback: Vox Populi » Prefrosh Preview: Reviewing your restaurant options

  6. i fully endorse the going to meals early plan. i consistently went to lunch when it opened at 11:00 and, thus, had the place basically to myself and my lunch companion(s), along with food that was as fresh as it was going to get.

    also, it should be noted that the staff at Leo’s is actually pretty helpful when it comes to accomodating specific dietary needs/requests. one of my friends is vegan, and successfully lobbied for daily hummus and better veggie options during his freshmen year. so if you have any dietary needs, or just suggestions, let them know and, unless it involves daily Black Angus steak with truffles, you’ll probably be able to get it.

  7. To add onto what Chelsea said, I’d definitely recommend sending Leo’s comments. I sent them one sometime in February asking if they could add Vanilla Coke as a drink option for Grab n Go, and exactly a week later, it was there. I don’t know if it was a coincidence, but if you want something that’s not outrageous, give it a shot.

  8. I wouldn’t let people in on this secret 2 years ago when I still had a meal plan, but 4:30 dinner is absolutely the best way to go to Leo’s. No lines, no searching for your friends amongst the throngs of underclassmen, fresh food (or at least as fresh as it gets), and you really get to know the Leo’s employees well. If you can convince your friends to go this route every day at 4:30, you won’t be disappointed. Trust me

  9. I’m actually a fan of leos, but no one prefers Grab n Go to anything. Last year after the norovirus incident was some of the worst variety of grab n go options I’ve ever seen. The only sandwiches they had were turkey or jelly sandwiches.

  10. @Fan: I agree the main dishes at Grab n Go are pretty lousy, but you’re still getting soda, fruit, chips, cookies, etc.

  11. Don’t go on the hour. Meeting your friends at 6:42 works perfectly: the 6:00 crowd is finishing up and you don’t have to deal with the mess that is 7pm.

    Eat weekend brunch. I looked forward to those meals every week, as they were consistently the highlights of my leo’s weeks.

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