Halftime Leisure

The Weekly List: Downstairs Leo’s edition

December 6, 2021

Design by Olivia Stevens

Whatever you may have to say about downstairs Leo’s, if you’re living on campus, it’s a part of your life. Trust me, I’m not a huge fan of the crispy rockfish either, but if you know what to look for, you can turn a necessary munch into a fine dining experience like no other. Here are the best options and hacks to make downstairs Leo’s your new favorite spot to eat on campus.

1. Nachos.

Cheese. Chips. Meat. Sour Cream. Guac. I am confident that we will never invent anything as glorious as nachos for the duration of our time on this planet (besides waterslides). Leo’s does them right. Extra points if the meat is shredded chicken. Get there early on Tuesday to avoid the line.  

2. Sausage and Egg Breakfast Sandwich.

For breakfast, there’s really only one option this year. You gotta bank a right and fill your plate up with eggs and two sausage patties (along with tater tots if they got ‘em). Head over to the bagel and coffee station and grab your favorite kind of bagel toasted. Slap these all together, and you’re looking good. Add ketchup, salt and pepper as needed. 

3. Barbecue Bacon Cheddar Chicken Sandwich.

This gem finds itself in the grill section about every other week, and it represents the pinnacle of culinary craftsmanship on campus. The combination of Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce and bacon is nothing short of genius and almost always has me coming back for seconds. 

4. Smoothies.

Undoubtedly the most game-changing addition to Leo’s this year, Leo’s smoothies are a no-brainer for any meal of the day, especially when mangoes are involved. Always refreshing and tasty, the smoothies are a great way to make any meal a win. 

5. Chili Cheese Fries.

Not the healthiest option on this list, but definitely one of the tastiest. Downstairs Leos will offer chili-cheese dogs with a side of fries about once a week in the grill section. Skip the hot dog, and go straight for the curly fries. Then ask to have as much chili and cheese poured on top of those fries as they’re allowed to give you. Bon Appetít (fork recommended).

6. Hummus.

Another enticing newcomer to Leo’s this year, the hummus bar is the epitome of consistency downstairs. If all other food options fail, you can load up on as much Sabra-grade hummus and pita as your heart desires. Maybe hit the salad bar while you’re at it to score a meal that is both filling and healthy. 

7. Oreo Butter Blondie and Vanilla Ice Cream.

In terms of dessert, there is one option that firmly stands out from the rest. Every so often, the pastry area will become home to a divine creation that I like to call the oreo butter blondie. It basically looks like a blondie with oreos on the inside. Once you take a bite, it plays a symphony of richness and flavor for your taste buds that is currently making my mouth water just thinking about it. Its perfection is further enriched if you take it “à la mode” with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Mix and mash as desired. 

8. Chicken Tendies.

You’re probably wondering why I took so long to mention the headliner of Chicken Finger Thursday. I have nothing against the chicken fingers here. In fact, I really like them. They have an excellent crisp to tender ratio and always do the job. I find that for me, though, they’re more of a vehicle for the honey mustard and barbecue sauce than anything else. They definitely deserve a spot on this list, but not above any of the all-stars I’ve already mentioned. 

9. Beef Stroganoff.

I’m not kidding. Tastes like how a jacuzzi feels. 

10. Chicken Parm Sandwich. 

I know, more chicken. Hear me out. The chicken parm alone can make a case for itself in the top ten, but when garlic bread is added to the mix, it’s no longer a competition. Get the spaghetti and chicken parm with two pieces of garlic bread on the side. You know what to do from here. Take a bite and mamma-mia!

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