At a university that boasts a diverse student body from all walks of life and all corners of the world, there are a few select experiences where backgrounds are forgotten and each individual is lost in one communal blue and gray blur. The most fundamental rite of passage for a Hoya is, of course, the very first trip to O’Donovan Hall, or as we affectionately call it, Leo’s.
Today, I adopted the role of an outsider, dispelling a year’s worth of Leo’s memories in order to re-experience that first Leo’s brunch.
At Leo’s, your reservation comes in the form of a plastic white and blue GoCard. After swiping my card with the Grab ‘n Go host or hostess, I bounded down the stairs and was overcome by a wave of sounds.
“Omelettes!” belted the omelette lady as a hundred Hoyas grumbled about their Friday nights to the tune of “Run Around” by the Blues Traveler. I hopped on the back of the brunch line, and just ten minutes later, caught my first view of Leo’s most popular brunch items. Brunch was served in a generous buffet style with a wide variety of entree choices: eggs or pancakes.
Next to the entrees lie the sides, served fresh from a local Aramark truck. I tasted the sausage links, sausage patties, tater tots, and bacon. I helped myself to a tall glass of orange juice, fresh squeezed out of the soda fountain, and chose a quiet table in the corner to enjoy my meal.
Plating is left to the customer, allowing each individual a creative outlet to arrange their own unique dish. The environment of the dining room is playful and spirited, as customers typically dig in with nothing but their fingers. Forks are usually nowhere to be found. The dim lights relax me while a premed student and half the rugby team deliver a good-natured bump to the back of my chair as they pass through.
As I delved into my dish, I was greeted by a wonderful array of textures. The slimy eggs, the grainy pancakes, and the plastic bacon were all new and exotic consistencies that provided a fun challenge to my senses. The textures were beat only by the beautiful rainbow of colors, creating a comforting summertime feel to the dish. The vibrant yellows of the eggs, and the earthy browns of everything else led to an Insta-worthy plate, no filter necessary.
I was particularly impressed with the preparation of the tater tots. As I bit through the warm, crunchy outside, I discovered an icy and refreshing center, surely the result of a new French technique that this ignorant critic is unaware of.
It is safe to say my Leo’s experience has already compelled me to plan to dine there again, ten times a week for the next year to be exact. I immediately fell in love with all parts of the dish, from the plating, to the texture, to the color. The lone exception was the taste, which is, of course, absolutely nauseating.
Price: My sense of self-worth (0)
Food Quality: -10
Food Presentation: TV Dinner-esque (1.5)
Diversity of Menu: See food quality
Photos: Georgetown University Flickr, Alex Boyd for The Voice