Georgetown’s Top Five New Dining Options

Leo’s is back, but is it better than ever? For those of you who have not yet stirred up the courage to venture into territory without self-serve and oversized portions, 4E’s got you covered with a rundown of Hoya Hospitality’s five most ~hospitable~ new dining options.

  1. Bodega (M-Th: 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.; F: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; Sat: 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.; Sun: 4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.)
    Overview: As far as ready-made sandwiches go, Bodega fares pretty well among our taste buds and offers an option for every occasion. Ready to pig out after a gruesome Yates workout? The Turkey Avocado Club with Bacon boasts a heaping three slices of bread. Inspired to develop a more cultured palate after taking French? Essaie le Cashew Chicken Salad Croissant pour changer! Feeling dietary self-hatred a healthier alternative? The Grilled Vegetable Hummus Ciabatta is the go-to low-cal option. For those of you who aren’t in a sandwich state of mind, there are also daily entrées and sides that you can mix and match to your stomach’s content. And because Bodega’s offerings are chiefly grab-and-go, the line for these cooked meals are the shortest among all of upper Leo’s. That being said, there’s always room for improvement. Entrée portions likely won’t satiate those of you over the age of six and Bodega’s salads, though listed as having four variations, are pretty standardized. They also ~allegedly~ contain frozen lettuce chunks on the bottom. Alas, this is still Leo’s after all.
    Keep up the: taste, variety, efficiency, hours of operation
    Watch out for: salads, entree and side portions
  2. Launch Test Kitchen (M-Th: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.; F: 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; S-S: Closed)
    Overview: This vendor is as close as Leo’s comes to fine dining. For overindulged Hoyas suffering the loss of mommy’s Blue Apron meals, Launch offers themed cuisines from around the world. Previous successes include the Chicken Tikka Masala from Indian week, the lobster roll from seafood week, and the baked biscuits from southern week. As Leo’s most ~premium~ option, Launch meals present the most bang-for-your-meal-exchange — but only Monday through Friday. That’s right, Launch is the sole upper Leo’s vendor that closes for the entire weekend. On the weekdays, it’s best to stick with what you know. Avoid accepting free samples from the Test Kitchen with suspiciously fancy names, like “corn purée with butter cappuccino,” which I’m ready to believe was really liquid butter in disguise.
    Pro tip: Bring your Problem of God reading for the wait, as Launch lines are notoriously the longest on all of upper Leo’s.
    Keep up the: taste, diversity, meal exchange worth
    Watch out for: lines, free samples, hours of operation
  3. Crop Chop (M-F: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.; S-S: Closed)
    Overview: Unlike Bodega’s ice boxed salads and lower Leo’s shabby salad bar, Crop Chop has restored our trust in the quality of college salad. In fact, with topping options such as steak, quinoa, and avocado, it may even be (though probably isn’t) a young Sweetgreen in the making. Popular pre-curated options include the classic Kale Caesar and the flavorful Quinoa Crunch, but more advanced Crop Chop enthusiasts know the splendors of make-your-own. Warning: this option is not for the faint of heart. The employees are known to be a little snappy, so have a friend place your order if you’re not the confrontational type. And if choosing a base, five toppings, and protein is too much on your plate, don’t worry — you’ll have plenty of time to think in a line that wraps around the corner of the hallway.
    Immoral pro tip: Ask for avocado, even when they say it costs extra, because they’ll forget by the time your salad makes it to the register.
    Keep up the: taste, variety, portions
    Watch out for: lines, hours of operation, snappy staff
  4. 5Spice (M-Th: 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.; F: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Sat: Closed; Sun: 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
    Overview: This weekly changing vendor is a hit or miss. Quasi-General Tso’s sesame chicken from Chinese week = hit. Overly-drunken drunken noodles from Thai week = miss. With both sweet and savory meals, 5Spice is always a reliable source of refreshingly adequate portion sizes. Overall, besides its sub-Cup-O-Noodle grade ramen bar, 5Spice’s culturally themed offerings are your best bet for Asian food on campus. But if you decide to ditch the line for less egregiously inauthentic cuisine, don’t worry — you probably hadn’t moved up very far in it anyway.
    Keep up the: general taste, diversity, portions
    Watch out for: lines, inauthenticity
  5. Chick-Fil-A (M-F: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; S-S: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
    Overview: Before you seriously question our judgment in degrading the makers of the OG chicken sandwich to fifth place, give us a chance to explain. For one, Hoya Court’s Chick-Fil-A is the only new dining option that doesn’t accept meal exchange. Faced with the quandary of filling our stomachs while emptying our wallets, there’s not much to do but bask in the golden glory of those waffle-cut fries while they last. On an equally discouraging note, the wait duration here typically surpasses even those of Launch and 5Spice. In a time crunch, it may be easier just to slap some of lower Leo’s chicken fingers on a couple southern biscuits from Launch. Despite all this, there’s not much one can do to resist a hankering for Chick-Fil-A. As they say, you win some, you lose some.
    Keep up the: taste
    Watch out for: lines, cost

There you have it folks: we’ll leave it up to you to weigh the pros and cons of Georgetown’s new dining options and decide whether they’re worth a visit.

Photos/Gifs: thebalance.com, giphy.com, tumblr.com

What We Miss About The Old Leo’s

I’m sorry, the old Leo’s can’t come to the phone right now. Why?

So you miss the old Leo’s? Us too.  After all of the complaining and whining about the old Leo’s, here we are doing the same exact thing once again.  Who would have thought? Here are just a few of the things we here at 4E miss most about the old Leo’s.

The Panini Press

While the panini press is technically still in operation, it is nowhere near the same. If you are lucky enough to catch the panini press during the short period of the day it is available for use, you are no longer greeted with the slightly aggressive but always familiar “excuse me” of our dearly beloved Leo’s worker, Kim Kim. We need Kim Kim’s expert hands and devotion to the press back on the job.

Me when it’s only two o’clock but the panini press is closed

People Watching

For some reason unbeknownst to me, someone thought it was a great idea to place large structures right in the middle of the dining hall. Long gone are the days of spotting friends, enemies, former loves, etc. from across the room. How am I supposed to know who to say hi to and who to avoid eye contact with?

Satisfying Portions

Remember when Leo’s would literally serve each person half of an entire chicken? Well, good luck getting a single chicken leg in the new Leo’s. With nearly no self serve options anymore, Hoyas across campus are starving due to the smaller portions and unwieldy lines of the new Leo’s. I think this is some sort of fat-shaming.

Variety

Not talking about the food here. Leo’s needs to bring  back the second stair case. How am I supposed to mix up my life now that I have no option to take the right sided stair case instead of the left sided one?

Freedom

The swiping system in the new Leo’s has got to go. If you want to get your food upstairs, but your friends are sitting downstairs, you need to sacrifice an unnecessary swipe simply to sit with them. I miss the days when all swipes were equal.

That’s it for now, folks. Hopefully the new Hoya Hospitality team heeds this advice and makes the necessary changes to our beloved dining hall.

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, tumblr.com

The Delicious Culinary Creations of Leo O’Donovan’s

 
leos combos

I’m not kidding about the title. Believe it or not, there are numerous ways to spice up your food at Leo’s to create a fun, delicious and enjoyable meal. But like all great endeavors, it takes some effort and training. So let me be your guide, mentor, guru, Leo’s spirit animal, if you will, and let me show you the ins and outs of making a yummy combination at Leo’s. Have your pens and notepads ready, and in the meantime, pull up a seat at the finest dining establishment on the waterfront, sit back and relax. You’re about to be amazed:

A new approach to Leo’s chili Let’s face it. Leo’s usually has some form of chili at least once a week.

Option 1 For a delicious twist, add a fair amount of rice (upstairs, Home section). Then, add a heaping scoop of chili (upstairs, Soups) onto the bed of rice. Now let’s take things to the next level. Head over to the taco station (upstairs) to crumble up some nachos on top of your creation. Finally, head to the downstairs sandwich and salad area and place a slice or two of cheese onto the nacho, chili, rice mixture. Pop the creation in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds and melt the cheese over your meal. Voila! You’ve just made chili for big kids.

Option 2 Fries + chili = chili fries.

Option 3 Get some spaghetti and put chili on top for an interesting and delicious meat sauce!

Chicken a la 4E This is my all-time favorite creation to make at Leo’s. (Disclaimer: This works best with chicken fingers on Chicken Finger Thursday, but if you want this bad boy on a weekday, head over to the sandwich and salad area downstairs and grab some grilled chicken instead.) First, take a visit over to the Diner (downstairs) on Thursday and grab a basket of those oh-so-glorious strips. Break the chicken fingers apart into bite-sized pieces and gander over to the sandwich and salad area nearby. Grab two slices of your favorite bread — rolls and whole wheat work well for this one — and add two slices of provolone cheese to one slice. After that, add lots of delicious (and nutritious) leafy spinach onto the provolone. Next, add your chicken finger chunks onto the bed of spinach, and top them off with sprouts. Drizzle a bit of parmesan-peppercorn (or any of your favorite) dressing on top, and add the final slice of bread. Take the entire sandwich to the panini press and let it toast for 1-2 minutes. When it comes out, your life will be changed. It’s my favorite thing to make at Leo’s and it will be yours, too.

Cheesy garlic bread This one is a game changer, not to mention a fresh addition to any pasta dish. Begin upstairs at the made-to-order pasta station and ask the station worker for a spoonful or two of garlic. (Disclaimer: Whoever is working may give you a strange look as you ask for raw garlic. It’s okay. Just keep calm, carry on and keep reading 4E for more delicious food tips.) Then, head downstairs to the sandwich and salad area and grab some of your favorite bread — this works really well with rolls. Spread a copious amount of butter (downstairs, sandwich and salad area, opposite side) onto the roll and then spread on the bits of garlic that you received from upstairs. Later, add on one or two pieces of your favorite cheese — I’m a provolone fan, if you couldn’t tell — to the garlic-butter bread. Finally, head over to the panini press and toast the bread for 1-2 minutes, until the cheese melts. Be sure to toast the bread with the butter sides facing inward for a softer, tastier center!

A better Leo’s pizza This can be done with both made-to-order pizzas (which are preferable) or the large slices that are available for taking. If you ever want to personalize your pizza, grab some of your favorite ingredients — i.e., spinach, feta cheese, extra tomatoes — from their respective areas. If getting a made-to-order pizza, take your special ingredients over on a plate to the workers at the pizza station (downstairs) and ask them to add it into your pizza pie. If you’re stretched for time, grab a pre-made slice and add the ingredients yourself. Microwave the slice for 20-30 seconds (but not too much more, to prevent the pizza from losing its crispness). It’s a fresh and easy way to jazz up a simple slice.

Wok Chicken Finger Thursday In all honesty, I can’t believe I’m sharing this gift with you because it is one of the most precious and closely guarded things I hold in my heart. But here it is, readers, you’re welcome. Grab some chicken fingers on Chicken Finger Thursday and rip them into chunks. Meander over to the Wok station and hand the workers your Chicken. Then … THEY WILL MAKE YOU GENERAL TSO’S CHICKEN. OR ORANGE CHICKEN. OR CHICKEN #5, AS MY FAVORITE WOK WORKER CALLS IT. (Sorry, not sorry for the aggressive capitalization.) It is glorious, and the fun doesn’t stop there. The wok workers will essentially saute anything your heart desires, as long as you bring it to them. Have a plate of pasta that you want to toss with chicken? They will do it. Want to have some beef with a medley of vegetables? They will pan sear it. They are hardworking, they are heavenly and they are the greatest-kept secret in Leo’s.

Now what are you waiting for, Hoyas? It’s a Thursday and endless opportunities await! Run over to “O’Donovan’s on the Waterfront” and enjoy one of these fun creations before the year is over! (Or before the vegan section is moved again.)

Bon appetit!

Photo: Leonel De Velez/The Hoya

Mor Chikin in D.C.

We’re always excited to hear about awesome new food trucks hitting the streets of D.C, but today’s announcement by fast-food chicken giant Chick-fil-A has us pumped for “mor chikin.”

Yep, that’s right. D.C. is getting a new Chick-fil-A food truck. For those of you who miss those addictive chicken strips, waffle fries and milkshakes, no longer will you have to trek all the way over to Arlington for a taste of those totally addictive chicken strips. All you have to do is follow the truck on Twitter as it feeds chicken fanatics around the District.

Starting April 9, Chick-fil-A’s food truck will begin to serve its world-famous chicken sandwiches at locations across the District. The food truck service will be Chick-fil-A’s most visible presence in D.C. (It’s only current location is at Catholic University—and at a number of locations in suburban Virginia and Maryland.

The food truck that will dart around the city beginning in April has already been spotted at the restaurant’s Largo location in Maryland. So, get ready for some long lines and fast-food chicken—Chick-fil-A is coming!