Dining Hall Comment Wall

Here are the comments you have left us by responding to the QR code on the dining room table tents.

  • Comments go directly to the managers of the dining hall you select on the comment form – so they have the opportunity to react and respond quickly.
  • We have read and are thoughtfully considering all your comments as we plan for upcoming weeks and semesters.
  • We have responded to the comments that included an email address and those responses are included below.

Resident Dining Comments

Ellicott, 2/18/19, 11:23am

Tofurkey at the deli station!!!

South, 2/17/19, 7:55pm

Hi I just wanted to write that you guys should play music in the dining area, not just where the food is. It could help make it more lively. Like the music they play in the food area is fine but can’t the speakers just extend to the tables and seating area? Thanks! Keep up the awesome service!
Thank you! We can look in to the possibility of wiring the seating areas for sound – currently there are no wires connected throughout the seating areas.

South, 2/17/19, 6:58pm

I would love if we didn’t have hair in the limited teo fruits we have on south campus (stale/overripe pineapple and cantaloupe) and maybe get some strawberries

I’m so sorry this happened to you. Staff members are required to wear hair restraints specifically to keep hair out of the food. The fruit (and all items) on the salad bar are fresh each day and restocked throughout the day. If you see anything that is not fresh, please tell someone right away. Strawberries are not in season right now; to serve them, we would pay top dollar for berries that are not at their peak flavor.

South, 2/17/19, 6:54pm

Why is the marinara sauce so spicy wtf is in there? It’s supposed to just be tomatoes. Can you not serve something simple?

We will recheck the recipe for marinara sauce. We have sourced a sauce that is made to our Senior Executive Chef’s specification – it is a sauce that does have some flavor to it, not just tomatoes – but it shouldn’t be hot.

South, 2/17/19, 6:51pm

For the amount of money I pay to eat here I would like to not have mushy brown green beans every day. Additionally, when I have to wait 40 minutes for stir fry I wish that they simply got the name with the right food it’s ridiculous.

I apologize that the green beans were overcooked – apparently more than once. We purchase fresh green beans and cook them in small batches so that everyone can enjoy them at their peak. We do know that if they sit in the heat for too long, their texture changes. 
 
We try and try to keep the ticket with the bowl at the stir fry station. Sometimes the tickets do get separated from the bowl but we do our best to keep them together. 

South, 2/16/19, 4:40pm

Could you please steam the broccoli more so that it’s softer? I have a jaw problem and recently I haven’t been able to eat broccoli at the diner because it’s too hard for me. Thank you.

Thank you for your comment. We will review cooking times and temperatures with our staff. If you see this again, tell us so we can fix it right away. 

Ellicott, 2/15/19, 4:17pm

Would it be possible to simply steam vegetables (broccoli, green beans, cauliflower) instead of drenching them in oil and cooking them? There are not nearly as many cooked vegetable options for those who would like to pass on the excess oil.

Ellicott, 2/15/19, 1:49pm

Can you please serve the key lime pies more often? Thanks!

South, 2/14/19, 6:49pm

The honey sriracha fried chicken was delicious tonight!

North Diner 2/14/19

Will the diner bring back cheesecake and carrot cake? They seem to never be served anymore.

We will! Keep your eyes open and they will appear in the dessert stations!

North Diner 2/13/19

Soy milk is always empty

Thanks for your comment about the soy milk. Please accept our apology, we have spoken with the beverage staff and reiterated the importance of keeping milk dispensers as full as possible and to double check them constantly during hours of operation.

North Diner 2/12/19

Please make the pupusas again! they’re really good

North Diner 2/12/19

Hi there—I just wanted to say I was so excited to see for the first time today a higher-quality brand of tea (“Rituals”), it was always a bit disappointing to just have Lipton tea (which has limited flavor options) for those who enjoy hot tea. It’s also nice that this new brand has lots of different flavors like the citrus green. Thank you for making the switch, I hope to continue seeing it 🙂

Thanks for the positive comment. After speaking with the Diner’s procurement team, we definitely plan to consistently stock the Rituals brand of teas with its variety of flavors. Please do not hesitate to let us know when and if we can do anything better to improve your dining experience, again thanks for the positive feedback.

South Campus 2/12/19

I’ve noticed recently that at the vegan station, after cutting the cutlets/patties the servers are not changing out the paper. This concerns me because I have peanut/tree nut allergies and want to avoid having a reaction from cross contamination.

This concerns me, too and I want to eliminate staff from using the same paper. We take allergy concerns very seriously and I was wondering if you could be a little more specific. I would like to know if you can name and/or describe which staff member(s) you have seen doing this practice and what time of day you have seen it. Our standard is to use the deli paper and have it travel with the sandwich until it is completed and then the paper is discarded. The deli paper should not be reused in any circumstance. The staff should cut directly on the cutting board so that the paper is not cut up and possibly included in the sandwich.

I have also looked at the ingredients for both the Porcini Dijon and Sunflower Cutlets and neither one of them have peanuts or tree nuts. There are legumes in both patties. Are there any other items on the vegan station that has you concerned for possible cross-contact?———-

Update:

Good Morning, The Field Roast Cutlets both Porcini Mushroom and Sunflower are both made on machinery that makes other products with Nuts. There is always a possibility that Nuts may have been introduced to these products.

Employees on the stations should be using a separate clean knife for any student that identifies themselves as having any food allergy. The Porcini and Sunflower also contains gluten, seeds, and pea protein.

Please make sure you are telling the servers on the station that you have food allergies. The chefs and managers will be doing some retraining on the station today and through the week so that every employee that works that station know that every sandwich goes on a clean sheet of pepper and if that student has allergies they need to use a clean knife to cut their sandwich or wrap.

If you have any other question or concerns you can contact me directly.

Great, thank you so much! I will be sure to remember to tell the servers this.

 251 North 2/10/19

I NEED you guys to bring back fried ravioli. That stuff cured my depression.

It is in our regular menu rotation – this week 2/11/19 and 2/13/19 Monday for lunch between 11am to 5pm and Wednesday for Dinner 5pm to 8:30 (251 ONLY)

South Campus 2/5/19

The dijon chicken tonight was sooooo good, thank u!

North Diner 2/4/19

Turn down the heat! It’s like an oven in here.

North Diner 2/4/19

Loving the vegan desserts!

North Diner 2/4/19

Please add lentil soup!

North Diner 2/2/19

Thanks so much for your thoughtful response, I appreciate it! One other small unrelated comment: one of the electrical outlets in the “Quiet Room” in The Diner hasn’t worked for a few months now. While it isn’t a big deal, it can be tough to find tables with outlets in the Diner, and the Quiet Room is a great place to do work during the day. I just thought I would bring that to your attention so that it could get fixed at some point. Thank you so much! Have a great rest of your weekend.

Thank You for the kind words, I will make and let our maintenance team aware of the Quiet Room situation right away.

The North Diner 2/1/19

I would appreciate if you could continue serving your roasted green beans.

Thank you – its great that the roasted green beans have a loyal following! We will keep them on the line often.

South 02/01/19

Hi y’all! The dining hall has really been doing well with balancing the need for quantity and quality of food. I have two, completely unrelated questions.

1) my friends and I got into a debate over whether or not dining services could make a good Lasagna. Personally it’s my favorite food and I’d love to see it in the dining hall, but they’re convinced it wouldn’t be good. I argued that lasagna is pretty straightforward to make in bulk, and it would be good, but the disagreement continued. Is there a chance that we will see a lasagna offered in the dining hall, and solve this once and for all? I’d love to prove them wrong 🙂

2) totally unrelated, but I noticed there’s a lot of milk crates on the loading dock of South Campus Diner. I’ve been trying to find one to put on my bike, but I didn’t want to steal one, so I may as well ask; does dining services have any old ones they’d be willing to sell? I know that they’re often counted by the shipping companies and charges occur for missing ones, but figured it was a worth a shot to ask if there’s any that are no longer in used. Thanks! Keep doing what you all do! Also shout-out to whoever makes the gourmet mac and cheese because that stuff is GOOD!

Thanks for writing in I have found answers to your questions!

1) We do serve lasagna – on Wednesdays after 5:00. Look at 251 North on Feb 6, South Campus Dining Hall on Feb 13 and The Diner on Feb 20. I’d love to hear how you and your friends like it!

2) The milk crates belong to the dairy supplier and we do have to return them or pay a fee. I appreciate your understanding that this is an issue and also (and most especially) your restraint.

3) Thank you! I’ll make sure that the mac-and-cheese team at The Diner hears your compliment!

North Diner 2/1/19

I really enjoyed the vegan lemon poppy seed muffins that you guys occasionally serve. If they could be served more often, that would be great! Also, any chance that I could get the recipe?

North Diner 2/1/19

Hello! Thank you as always for making such a great dining experience for us. I absolutely LOVE that there are fresh berries and grapes every morning at The Diner, but about 40-60% of the time when I arrive in a rush for breakfast in the mornings, all the blueberries / strawberries AND sometimes even grapes are gone (the only way to guarantee I get them is if I arrive at 7:00 am when it opens, but that’s not practical for a commuter like myself). For a vegan like myself who prefers to avoid greasy potatoes and sugary waffles and so instead relies on fresh fruit to fill me up for breakfast, having no fruit options except apples and oranges (which are not breakfast fruits) is a bit frustrating when we pay so much. It seems that the ‘nicer’ fruits like berries are sometimes replenished quickly, but sometimes not replenished at all, depending on who is tending the salad bar, but what’s particularly frustrating it when I want some blueberries and I know they’re in a container behind the salad bar, but the worker tending the salad bar is busily filling the iceberg lettuce at 9:00AM, as if anyone wants lettuce that early (I realize they need to prepare the other parts of the salad bar, but that’s obsessively early). While I understand the popular fruits like berries may run out faster than they can replenish, I just ask that the people at the salad bar don’t let these breakfast foods go empty for more than maybe 15 minutes at a time. One time I asked a worker if there were any blueberries in the morning when I didn’t see them, and she told me ‘it wasn’t time for them to come out right now’, which felt very frustrating given how much we’re spending per meal if the blueberries are actually right there. Instead of saving the berries so that they are available periodically throughout the afternoon and evening, I think most students would prefer just having them available CONSISTENTLY from opening until 11:00 am. Thank you for your consideration, and thank you again for all that you guys do 🙂

We have upped the order on blueberries. We have touched base with the team, focusing on making sure that breakfast fruits longer are on the line longer into morning. This should prevent any inconveniences for you when you come to the Ellicott Diner. Feel free to bring it to the attention of the manager on duty it happens again. Again please accept our apology.

North Diner 1/31/19

Why is the marinara sauce so spicy? I can’t eat it i have a sensitive stomach seems like too much garlic in it. could you please offer a mild marinara alternative? thank you

251 North 1/31/19

251 should be open later. Until at least 10:30 pm. If needed, it can be closed from 3-5 pm

We will continue to monitor the flow of business and at 251 North. From our observations, the Diner in the Ellicott community is below capacity at that hour of the evening – and that means we can’t justify having a second dining hall open that late in the evening.

South, 1/30/19, 12:13pm

The chicken breast is so good this semester whatever you guys did was a success. Thank you.

1/30/19, 11:22am

Please have avocados in the fruit baskets.

There are reasons we don’t place avocados in the fruit baskets. Avocados are tricky: they very expensive, seasonal, and have an extremely short shelf life. Most of all, you can’t easily tell if they’re any good until you cut them open, and (in general) people don’t want a whole avocado. Finally, the fruit in the baskets can be eaten without utensils – avocados require a knife and a spoon to eat properly.

1/30/19, 9:27am

Wondering if you can offer some ideas or suggestions for my daughter.  She lives on South Campus, and it takes 15 minutes to get to her classes on North Campus.   With the campus opening at 10am, and her first class being at 10am, she was not able to get in and out of the dining hall quick enough this morning with it opening at 930am.   My understanding is that they cannot take food out of the dining hall, but on inclement weather days like today, would exceptions be permitted? It is frustrating because her classes are back to back from 10am – 3pm.  We pay a lot of money for her to be able to eat in the dining hall but it seems next to impossible. Let me know if you have any suggestions I can pass on to her. Thank you.

I apologize for this inconvenience to your daughter. I am a breakfast eater myself and can totally sympathize that this situation would be distressing to her – and to her parent. Please let her know she can reach out to me at any time. When campus opens late, we cannot maintain our full regular hours, and so we open 30 minutes before campus opens. This is our general practice, and is posted on our website, shared by our partners in Resident Life, and sent out via Twitter, so that students can make appropriate adjustments to their plans. Our policy is that no beverages or food can be carried out and our practice is that one piece of fruit or one hand held dessert can be taken from the dining room. In addition, if you bring your own reusable cup, you can fill it with coffee, soda, ice tea, or water, and take it out. During a weather emergency, we would not stop a student who had a muffin and a banana. I hope this is a helpful response. If she has additional concerns or questions, please have her call me or send an email. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you so much for the fast response. I asked her to reach out to you but I knew she probably wouldn’t. The reusable cup suggestion is great. And I will suggest the muffin and fruit to her too. I already told her this morning to be proactive next time when inclement weather is in the forecast. As much as they think they are all grown up when they turn 18, there are so many things that don’t even cross their minds : ) I just hope she remembers to share tips and tricks with next year’s new kids!

Ellicott, 1/30/19, 9:26am

Plain non dairy milk. The only non dairy milk is vanilla.

We would love to offer plain non-dairy milk. The problem is that plain soy milk is not sold in bulk containers and is only produced in retail packaging. We carried it until it was discontinued by the supplier – and we’ve discovered that our guests seem to prefer the vanilla!

South, 1/30/19, 9:25am

Myself and nearly 30 other students had to wait in the South Campus Diner vestibule this morning because the diner opened at 9:30AM, instead of its normal opening time at 7AM. Nearly 20 more students are waiting outside in the sub-freezing cold weather. I am not sure why this delay occurred but it is unacceptable. Students have classes in the morning, breakfast is an important meal, and it is irresponsible to prevent students having breakfast for any reason. We are paying thousands of dollars for our dining plans with the expectation of consistent, reliable service. In the future, please keep consistent opening times. Respectfully, A Concerned, Hungry Student

I am sorry that you had to wait for the South Campus Dining Hall to open. I can appreciate how frustrating that was. And, thank you for reporting in on how many people were there early — I’ll take the tally with your concern to the rest of the senior staff. Because of inclement weather, the University of Maryland opened today at 10:00 am. We are not able to maintain our full regular hours when campus is closed. When campus opens late, the dining halls open 30 minutes before campus opens. his is posted on our website, and was sent out last night via Twitter, and was shared by Resident Life. Is there a better way to reach students with this information? I would be happy to continue this conversation in person or by email. Let me know if you’d like to meet. I look forward to hearing from you again.

Thank you for your timely response and I appreciate your concern. Thank you also for informing me of the communication channels like Twitter where, in the future, I can find information about changes in dining hours. I apologize for the sharp tone of my previous email and I hope we can continue this conversation. In truth I was unaware of the late opening of the school this morning until checking my email around 9:30 am. I had received an email yesterday around 10:30 pm announcing the late opening of school, but it did not mention the late opening of dining halls. It might be helpful to students if that detail were included in future campus-wide email announcements. Thank you again for having a dialogue with me regarding this morning’s change of schedule. Please feel free to reach out if you have any further questions for me.

1/29/19, 9:44pm

Hi there, As the weather is getting colder student groups on campus are finding places to get the word out about their groups. I was wondering if you have a policy of flyering or tabling in the dining hall? Thank you.

We do not allow student groups to table in the dining halls. The reason is that we are extremely protective of the student dining experience – and want our students to be able to enjoy their meal without interruption. To facilitate that, we have had to draw a line. There are so many great groups, worthy causes, and fascinating initiatives on campus that we decided to allow only occasional postings from our campus partners (Res Life, RHA, and SGA) and a very few all-campus wellness initiatives in to the dining halls. If your group fits in to this criteria, or if you have questions or comments, I’d be happy to discuss further. Please let me know.

South, 1/29/19, 12:00pm

The North Campus Diner always has either strawberries or jello, but the South Campus Dining Hall has neither… South only has 3 cut fruits … it’s disappointing :(((( Can we have the same choices?

Thank you for writing in. We are proud of the salad bar at South Campus. While we don’t have everything that The Diner has on their salad bar, we feature vegetables and pre-made salads not found on the north side of campus. Each dining hall tries to have similar basics and then some unique selections more responsive to their respective guests. <<South Campus hack – there are usually grapes or berries at the Mongolian Grill inside South, around the corner from the main servery.>> Again, thank you for your comments, we will keep include them in our discussions and conversations as we plan our offerings for the upcoming weeks and semesters.

South, 1/27/19, 8:19pm

“It is unfortunate that I have to report this after giving much patience and tolerance to this matter. One staff member in particular, has been inconsistent with the management of your facility and has been rude to me in the past. For nearly two years I have been allowed to exit the dining hall with milk mixed into my protein shake. I have done this every night after the gym around the same time for two years. And for two years I have walked right past this staff member who didn’t bat an eye. Today, I did my same routine as usual. I come in from the gym, fill my bottle, and leave. This time however I was stopped. I was told by this staff member that I can’t leave with my drink and I responded by saying that I have been doing so for two years, what’s changed? They then say that they have told me before not to do that. Now I’m not one to bring up the past but the only thing this person has ever said to me directly or indirectly was a snide comment from behind the counter in my freshman year. I was waiting for someone to serve me chicken breast so I had called someone over to serve me. I was then asked by the server if I wanted chicken breast and I said yes. Following my response I see and hear this person (who obviously thought I couldn’t hear what was said behind the counter) say very coarsely that I needed to speak up. Not only is this staff member inconsistent with managing what exits the diner, this person is rude and believes it is ok. If they were comfortable enough to say something so rude so loudly, they clearly have done so in the past to other students. But that isn’t the issue at hand, just thought I would give my full experience with this staff member. Anyway, the real problem is not that I am not allowed to exit the diner with my drink, the issue is that I was led to believe that it was ok (for two years mind you), only to be stopped abruptly.”

I am sorry that your experience with one of our staff members did not go as well as you might have expected. This is a perfect opportunity for us to remind everyone that great customer service is one of our primary operating concepts. We will continue to have discussions about professional communication. Although our written policy is that no food or beverages can be taken out of the dining hall, generally guests are able to take one beverage or one hand-held dessert item with them. For health reasons, we don’t allow milk or juice to be carried out. These beverages spoil fairly quickly at room temperature and we don’t want our beverages to make anyone sick. Again, thank you for your comment and I apologize that you were in an uncomfortable position.

1/23/19, 9:04pm

Will all the cafes be open in the summer sessions? Or is there any one open? Thanks!

Several (but not all) of the cafes will be open. We will make the decision about which cafes and what hours there will be closer to the middle of the semester. Typically, cafes in buildings that host a larger number of summer classes or year-round faculty and staff are open during the summer. Last year, Applause, Bytes, Food for Thought, Footnotes, Kim Kafe, Mulligan’s Grill and Pub, Quantum, Rudy’s, Severn, and Sneakers were open. All locations in the Stamp were open. The food court in the Martin Engineering Building was open and two convenience shops (Union Shop and South Commons Shop) were open. We will post the hours on our web site dining.umd.edu on the locations and hours page as soon as they are available.

Ellicott, 1/22/19, 1:11pm

more organic fruit and vegetables – thanks!

South, 1/7/19, 4:11pm

I would like to see more vegetable options during breakfast time. I greatly enjoy the wilted spinach or vegetable medleys that are prepared once in a while, and I would like to see more of those options in the future.

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