Leo O’Donovan’s: still the DIY dining hall


During freshman year one of my friends described Leo’s as a do-it-yourself cafeteria, a place where everything looks nice and pretty but still needs someone with know-how to make it all work. Noticing the two iceboxes upon entering Tuesday night, however, it seemed something had changed.

Beyond the iceboxes lay the stir-fry counter and featured downstairs were the omelet bar and a veritable ice cream parlor. The milkshake machine was now out of my control and the panini machine was nowhere to be found. What happened to to the dining hall? Perhaps the Hershey’s bars were poison meant to harm anyone foolish enough to think Leo’s would actually provide Hershey’s bars. I guess that’s one way to fix the housing shortage. Despite the fancy additions, however, the entrées had the same signature Leo’s taste, and I cautioned myself not to forget the Leo’s preparation skills I had learned.

Although the fancy prep tables may fool you, in order to make Leo’s a viable lunch or dinner option, creativity is still a must and some assembly is definitely required.

The fancy hot dog roller may be eye-catching, but it doesn’t do much in the way of flavor. One way to rescue a Leo’s hot dog is to cut the dog in half lengthwise, toast the bun and put the pieces together like a hamburger with the butterflied dog laying flat. For even more flavor, lay the hot dog flat in the panini machine to crisp it up.

Pizza is certainly a mundane option, but the make-your-own pizza station downstairs will save many meals when entrée choices are lacking. Integrate your cheese and toppings by sprinkling some mozzarella on top of it all right before putting it in the oven.

Be warned: using the machines in unorthodox ways may elicit strange looks from the Leo’s staff. But as you place your cookie into the toaster, just try to ignore the piqued Leo’s worker telling you it will burst into flames, even if they’re right. Rest assured, the looks of shock will be balanced out by looks of awe and respect when you whip out things like the cookie ice cream sandwich or the toasted chicken marinara sub, two items that can’t be found on any Leo’s service counter. Although the new Leo’s look can tempt you into complacency, don’t forget that quality control at Leo’s is still up to you.

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Michael Keller

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