Prefrosh Preview: Good eatin’ at Leo’s


The University considers purchasing a meal plan a “fundamental part of developing community among resident students,” which seems to be true, though it may be more of a point of commiseration rather than celebration.

But since freshmen and sophomores are stuck with our own version of a overcrowded Golden Corral, there’s no use in complaining. Here are a few  tips on how to get by dining at Leo’s.

Get to meals early. We can’t stress this enough, especially at the beginning of the year. Lines are long and tables can be scarce, so go on off times. This means 11:00-12:15 p.m. for lunch and 4:30-6:00 p.m. for dinner. Your options decline steeply after the meal rush.
Unless you just love eating breakfast, there’s no reason to get a meal plan with more than 14 meals a weekVox endorses the University’s recommendation to get the 14 plan your first semester.

  • Keep track of the number of meals you use. Running out of meals is not a common occurrence at Georgetown, but make sure you don’t walk up to the card swipers without meals on your GOCard.
  • When you notice that you’ll have meals left over at the end of the week, get grab ‘n go meals and save them for later. Even if you won’t eat all the food, just grab some soda and juice to use as chasers.
  • Don’t be afraid to eat at Leo’s alone. It’ll probably be difficult to schedule a time to go to lunch with all your friends. There’s no shame in it: just get some food and keep yourself busy with a book or a laptop. It’s also best to do this when Leo’s isn’t too busy.
  • Study at Leo’s. If you’re all right with smelling like Leo’s for hours afterward (and oh yes, it’s a distinct smell), head downstairs, find an outlet, and camp out. Not to mention, you also get infinite snacks and free coffee.
  • Late night isn’t that bad so long as you like reheated leftovers. My previous recommendation to freshmen was that late night isn’t that bad. While late night has only gotten better (and now begins at the 8 p.m. hour!), the menu still principally consists of what the cooks have left in their grease traps. Most nights they only have breakfast food or pizza-and-corndogs fare. At the same time, they always have the salad bar and cereal out.
  • Invest in some tupperware. While most students get enough cafeteria food during meals, stealing Leo’s food is a cherished Georgetown pastime. If you do it right, then you won’t have to buy bread or fruit for four years.
  • Speak up about how much sauce you want added to your plate when you’re at the make-your-own salad, pasta, and stir-fry stations. Some of the cooks seem to have a heavy hand.
  • Variety is key. Some of the stations change up their menus, but, even so, you don’t want to get stuck eating the same thing every day. If you’ve found something you like, eating it for every meal will certainly change that.
  • Chicken Finger Thursday. Don’t miss it. And be sure to get there early if you want any ketchup.
  • Dinner on Friday and Saturday sucks. Make those your Wisey’s days.


But before you follow our advice too closely, just a quick caveat: Dining Services apparently reserves the right to search students’ bags:

Coats, backpacks and other personal belongings may be brought into the dining hall with the stipulation that Dining Services reserves the right to search such personal belongings for University property. If participants do not want personal property subject to search then it should not be brought into the dining hall.

Though don’t take Aramark’s threat’s too seriously. When they catch students stealing food, they take down your GOCard and generally don’t follow up. Don’t expect them to be as lenient when you steal plates and silverware, though.

Thanks to myself, Juliana Brint, and Rachel Calvert for previous versions of this post.

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