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

So you don’t get lost on your way from the vegan banana bread to the chocolate chip cookies, both of which come highly recommended, Vox has created super sophisticated maps to help you on your way!

9 Comments on “Prefrosh Preview: A guide to enjoying (and surviving) Leo’s

  1. Those maps ensured that I will never, ever, support muralFEST.

  2. Can you expand on the stealing from Leo’s bullet point? I’m an incoming freshman and am wondering exactly how that goes down. Do you just put food in tupperware containers and no one notices, or do you have to try to be sneaky?

  3. @ohio Just bring a backpack or something with Tupperware on it, take the food in question to your table and slip it in. I didn’t have to buy bread or fruit for 4 years.

    I was never that daring sadly but I do know people who 1. managed to steal a whole barrel of ice cream in a duffel bag and 2. lined their backpack with a trash bag and stole several pizzas by the slice.

  4. That is awesome. I now feel prepared for school. Thank you.

  5. Pingback: Vox Populi » Prefrosh preview: A guide to off-campus dining

  6. late night is good the one or two nights per week that the asian women make stir fry and chicken fried rice

  7. Pingback: Vox Populi » Georgetown ranked #15 for dining, cue resounding “whaaaat?”

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