Customer reviews for Georgetown University's Leo O'Donovan on-campus dining hall

Avg. Customer Review (4.5 Stars):
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Dining gluten-free at Georgetown University (2006-2009), Feb 04, 2011
reviewer: MLibrach from Arlington, VA
Let me begin by saying that I attended Georgetown University from 2006 to 2009 so my information may be a bit outdated. Georgetown is a fairly small university, and so it has one major dining hall - Leo J. O’Donovan Dining Hall, which is known simply as “Leo’s”. The dining hall has two floors with different options on each floor. The top floor has a beautiful mural painted around the room and has a very nice view of the surrounding area. When I first arrived at Georgetown, the gluten-free options were very limited at Leo’s. The stir-fry station was off-limits; the pasta-station was obviously off-limits; even the salad bar was a little frightening because none of the ingredients were listed on any of the dressings. Things drastically changed when I arrived for my senior year however. During the summer in between my junior and senior year at Georgetown, they hired a new registered dietitian who was absolutely amazing. Her name is Kristen Hamilton and she was a tremendous resource there. When she arrived, she set up a gluten free station which included a dedicated Panini press, a dedicated toaster, and a refrigerator with a lock on it. She only gave the students with celiac or gluten intolerance the combination for the lock. She would order pretty much whatever gluten-free items we requested too! She also labeled certain sauces in the stir fry station as gluten free and provided them with gluten free soy sauce. Even more importantly, she trained the staff at Leo’s on gluten intolerance and I could instantly tell! They went to great lengths to avoid cross-contamination and were very helpful and accommodating. For breakfast, I would normally frequent the omelet station. There was also yogurt and gluten-free breakfast bars in the gluten-free fridge. For lunch, I would normally make myself a wrap. I asked Kristen to order Teff wraps (which she did immediately!) and I was able to use the normal sandwich stations to make all kinds of different wrap options. For dinner, I would almost always go with the stir-fry. They had over a dozen options of vegetables and meats to choose from, and there are an equal number of sauces. Most importantly, there is a sign at the stir-fry station that tells you which sauces are gluten free! There are also some options in the Georgetown neighborhood that are good if you want to dine out. Uno’s on M street offers a gluten free pizza (not one of my favorites though). Paparazzi on Wisconsin Ave has gluten free pasta and can make any of their pasta dishes with it. Sweetgreen is very close to the campus and has a variety of salads and frozen yogurt as well. Concerning liquor stores, both Dixie’s (M street) and Wagner’s (Wisconsin Ave.) sell Red Bridge, one of the best gluten free beers. Finally, there are good grocery options as well. While the Whole Foods on Wisconsin Ave obviously offers a bunch of gluten free food, the new Safeway on Wisconsin (much, much closer to Georgetown) has a very healthy choice of gluten free items. There are two separate freezer sections with gluten free food, and a bunch of other labeled gluten free foods. The changes that Kristen made to Leo’s really made my senior year there that much more special. Unfortunately, I think Kristen left Georgetown for Villanova in December, 2010. The only bad thing I have to say about Leo’s is the “grab-and-go” option. With this option, students have the ability to come into the dining hall and grab one of these pre-made meals to take with them. These options were limited to sandwiches and salads for obvious reasons. However, the salads came with croutons already in them. The Greek salad was the only salad that didn’t come with croutons already in it. This is really the only reason why Georgetown doesn’t get a 5 Palm rating from me! In all, I would sincerely recommend Georgetown for their dining hall’s wealth of gluten-free options.

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