Prefrosh Preview: A guide to enjoying (and surviving) Leo’s
Our very own Leo O’Donovan Dining Hall is a bit of a bonding experience for all freshmen and sophomores, who must submit to the mandatory meal plan, barring a few exceptions.
Vegetarianism doesn’t get you a pass on Leo’s, but you bleeding heart animal lovers will be pleased to hear Peta2 voted Georgetown the 10th most vegetarian friendly campus of 2008. Though we have yet to repeat the performance, Leo’s vegetarian options aren’t all that bad. In fact some Leo’s-weary diners become what we like to call “Leo’s vegetarians,” in self-defense from the dubious post-Thanksgiving turkey mélange.
Anyway, whether you carry out a (totally safe) Grab ‘n Go sandwich, or enjoy your chicken fingers beneath Leo’s nod to the Sistine Chapel, surviving Leo’s requires an iron-clad
will stomach and a reliable Tupperware set. Not to mention the well-developed knack for double-think that allows students to smuggle out a backpack full of nauseating food after every meal.
Luckily for all you newbies, some of your fellow Hoyas have compiled their favorite Leo’s recipes (we like to call them coping mechanisms) in O’Donovan’s On The Waterfront. Since these tips won’t get you through the whole year unscathed, here are Vox‘s tips for dealing with Leo’s, originally compiled by former Voice Editor Juliana Brint:
- 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 Grab ‘n Go usage. 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 ambient noise, you’ll save a lot by getting your caffeine and study snacks from Leo’s rather than Midnight Mug.
- 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.
- Chicken Finger Thursday. Don’t miss it.
- 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