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

An Open Letter to the New Uncommon Grounds

Dear New Uncommon Grounds (which, as you may have heard, has been ~officially~ dubbed “NUG”),

Congratulations on your recent move from the cozy bubble within the well-trafficked Sellinger Lounge to the prime real estate spot in an obscure corner of the bookstore. Thank you for making it less tempting for us to spend precious flex dollars out of our late-night-quesadilla budget on strangely-named caffeinated beverages. Thank you for recognizing that among the exorcist steps, the Regents stairs, the VCW steps, the stairs to Yates, the White-Gravenor stairs and the Walsh staircase, Georgetown is truly deprived of opportunities for excessive stair-climbing. Thank you for moving to a location that allows us to ~seek the magis~ up an additional two flights. We have to thank you, New Uncommon Grounds. Without your grand reopening, we would not have the pleasure of experiencing the following awkward moments thus far, in your short tenure of just a few days:

1 . Going to NUG at 9pm on a Wednesday, and finding it completely empty with the exception of the baristas. We thought you were closed and retreated down the stairs, but you shouted after us, “we’re open!”, and so we had to awkwardly walk back inside.

Actual footage of a NUG employee trying to make us walk back up the stairs, 2017, colorized. 

2. A woman asked our blogger Caroline if her name was “Eleanor Rigby” upon her receiving the caramel hazelnut latte by the same name. This drink is now cancelled.

3. With the loss of the beloved UG couches, we experienced the strange and utter horror of not having anywhere to sit. And when we finally did find a spot, it turned out it was already someone else’s spinny chair. Sad!

But despite the loss of our dear old friend, we’ve come up with a list of suggestions to make the NUG experience the best it can be for all students:

1. Build retail therapy into your customer experience. As a Georgetown student, you can sleep when you’re dead (and therefore must caffeinate whilst living). Additionally, you must not let anyone forget that you are walking the same hallowed grounds that Bradley Cooper, John Mullaney, Patrick Ewing and Bill Clinton once roamed. Therefore, you’re going to need some gear: Why not sell some in the store? While they’re at it, your customer may even buy some for his or her third cousin twice-removed, and the entirety of his or her high school graduating class.

You if you don’t buy a new Georgetown sweatshirt every time you go to NUG.

2. Sell the stairs as “aggressive stair workout.”

Training Plan: Begin on M street and walk up the exorcist steps, then take a left on N Street to walk up the Lau steps. Walk down past the HFSC, up past Cooper field, and then up the Regents stairs. Lastly – take your pick between the ~official NUG stairs~ (currently incorrectly labeled as the “UG stairs”) or the bookstore escalator. To balance out your customers counting calories, have them subtract those it took to get upstairs! Pro-tip: make sure that every article of clothing on your body was purchased at  lululemon because otherwise it doesn’t count as exercise at Georgetown.

3. Tell your customers they have the perfect excuse to borrow their parents’ private helicopter. We are all well aware that our enormous campus already warranted travel by Vespas, but now it’s time to inform your parents that you will be needing to borrow ~one~ of their helicopters to fly you from your dorm to the Leavey Esplanade to pick up your NUG Love latte. Your customers have been waiting all this time for the right excuse.

4. Relive the good old days. If your customers are still missing the old Kanye UG, tell them to purchase some blackout shades to recreate that familiar sense of total darkness. This way, their fellow NUG customers will still be completely unrecognizable from a short distance and they can still feel like they’re writing a paper in the middle of the night ALL THE TIME. As we all know, the “This is due at 8 a.m. and I haven’t started” paper-writing aesthetic is even more popular among the Georgetown community than ~cura personals~, and it would be a shame to let some “sunlight” ruin it.

This can still be you at NUG!

New Uncommon Grounds: Much like freshmen year roommates and mandatory group projects, you are unfamiliar and slightly awkward. But we’re willing to try and make this thing work if you are.

With (NUG) Love,

Sarah and Caroline

Photos/Gifs: giphy.com, tumblr.com