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, 5/17/19 6:25pm

The rice at the diner right now is SO good!! Not overly salty, hard, or fatty. Thank you!!

South, 5/15/19 1:29pm

I was made aware that diner policy states that we cannot take food because it is considered stealing, but what I would like to know is how is it stealing if I am paying thousands of dollars for a dining plan, that I did not even want in the first place. I am forced to pay for a plan that provides me with barely average tasting food and go to a diner that packs up half its stations by 8 pm during the school week. I am sorry that I have class and after school activities that do not allow me to eat until after 8 pm. And especially during this week, when I have five final exams that are crucial to my gpa and my future, I cannot take out a sandwich to eat at the library. On top of that, my friend is Muslim and she was not aware of the Ramadan boxes and was told to throw her food out. This is completely insensitive towards Muslim students. She did not know about this “box” and instead of being told this one time she could take food, the diner staff would rather have had her throw out the food, then be allowed to take it out once. And I would also like to point out that your policy includes “beverages” in the prohibited from being taken out of the diner items, so am I not allowed to fill a bottle up with water, juice, or coffee? Since the staff is so adamant about sticking to the policy. I am so glad I will be living off campus next year where I will not be forced to pay for this dining plan anymore because these past two years have been a complete waste of my money.

I can hear in your comment how frustrated and upset you are. I wish you had spoken up earlier so we could have worked with you to give you a better Maryland dining experience.

I would be more than happy to respond to each of your specific points. Thank you for speaking up, we always learn from student comments and they help shape our plans into the future. bhipple@umd.edu

South 5/14/19 10:18 pm

The menu online says that there is a vegan butter alternative, but I’ve never found it at South Campus

That’s not good. I apologize. We routinely keep a pan of butter and a pan of margarine on the condiment station in the main serving area between the pizza station and the bagel toaster. We will investigate better placement and labeling of the vegan butter (AKA margarine).

South, 5/12/19 1:53pm

The green beans today were so fresh, thank you$

Ellicott, 5/10/19 9:33pm

The corn and black beans quesadillas were really good. Please have those more often. Thank you!

Ellicott, 5/10/19 2:12pm

Just wanted to thank the dining hall services for the “Recipes from Home” series. It was a really good idea and very thoughtful. Especially as an out-of-state student, it was a really nice idea to try to recreate recipes from home for all the students. Thank you so much!

Ellicott, 5/10/19 1:54pm

The Jewish apple cake from the home recipes that was served yesterday was very good! Please consider having it more often

Ellicott, 5/9/19 8:01pm

I was about to leave a comment saying that the “recipes from home” was a great idea. It is. But I was excited for the chicken pesto bake until I cut into my chicken and it was pink. I didn’t eat it; I just put it on the belt. As someone who has gotten food poisoning in the dining hall before, I was disturbed by this.

We have instructed/coached our entire staff on the proper way to prepare and cook chicken. We have checked all evening and made sure every piece of this specialty chicken has been cooked to the correct temperate and notated on our temperature log. The best thing to do would have been to show us the chicken so we could make an evaluation and possibly replace your dinner.

We are aware that you believe you got food poisoning from dining hall food and did our best to investigate – but since you did not speak up until more than two weeks later, we were not able to determine that our food was the actual cause of your illness. I hope that you never experience this type of problem again – but if you do, please speak to us quickly!

Ellicott, 5/9/19, 9:32am

Do you guys mix romaine and iceberg lettuce together in the salad bar at Ellicott Diner? If so, is it possible to keep them separate? I know they keep them separate at South Dining Hall and I think many students would prefer it that way. Thanks.

Thank you for your question. We do not mix romaine and iceberg lettuce together on the salad bar. They are always separate. Sometimes the lower section of the head of romaine resembles iceberg lettuce because it is much lighter in color than the leafy top. All three dining halls get the same product from the same produce company. If you ever have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask for a manager or chef and we will be happy to assist you immediately. Have a great weekend and good luck with finals!

Ellicott, 5/8/19, 11:09pm

The world is clearly ending . . . the diner finally ran out of coffee today! In all seriousness, in my four years year, I have never seen the diner run out of coffee. It is always open first thing in the morning and one of the last stations to get cleaned up, always supporting student studying no matter how sleep deprived. But it seems that going from four coffee makers to one new coffee maker has had its tolls, and you may want to consider having a second coffee maker still there on standby for this event. Specifically, the coffee machine on the left was completely out of non-decaf bold, regular, and iced coffee options (basically the entire rightmost column) at about 10:45 AM this morning (5/8/19). This wasn’t terribly disruptive for me, but it was disappointing though I would have appreciate the caffeine, but I feel like coffee is such a college staple that it’s worth leaving a comment about its absence. On another note, is there a way to stop the other beverage machine (espresso + hot chocolate one) to stop pouring out pure water at the beginning and four 10 seconds after you let go of the button? This has been true of every iteration of that machine in my four years here, and it makes for a rather diluted and bland beverage, though of course not of nearly as much importance as coffee.

Thank you for the heads up and for your vote of confidence. Its great that you depend on us and that we are dependable. Except this time. We will do better.

South, 5/8/19, 6:37pm

Salmon today is amazing. Please make it like this every time.

South, 5/7/19, 5:09pm

I really loved the “Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala” – any chance this recipe could replace the tikka masala recipe that’s normally used?

We can certainly alternate. Watch the menus next Fall!

Ellicott, 5/7/19, 2:04pm

The rice has been VERY salty lately. I like the chocolate chip bar

The chocolate chip bar (one of the Recipes from Home) was a total favorite this week. Love that.
We haven’t changed the rice recipe or procedure at all. We will ask Chef to review with the staff just in case. Thank you for speaking up.

Ellicott, 5/2/19, 2:15am

The food has been very low quality lately

I’m sorry that this has been your experience. What could we improve on specifically? Next week’s Terrapin Favorites include meals prepared from recipes sent in from students and their families, so be sure to look out for those!

5/1/19, 3:57am

I currently have a dining plan at UMD, since I stay on campus. Many of my Muslim friends will be fasting for the upcoming month of Ramadan and have expressed concern over the dining halls being closed when they are allowed to eat, primarily during the morning breakfast (around 3am). Would it be possible to allow students who are observing Ramadan to take food out of the dining halls during the day in a box and save it until this time? I look forward to your response.

Since this comment was written, we developed a Ramadan morning meal program. Details on our home page. Thank you for writing in and for being willing to help us make a plan!

4/30/19, 9:45pm

I’m an undergraduate Public Policy major here at UMD. I’m also Muslim and, as you may know, Ramadan is coming up so most of us will be fasting for the next 30ish days. I was wondering if UMD Dining Services could provide any accommodations for fasting Muslims for our early morning meal, at around 3am. This year, we will be fasting from around 5am to 8pm — over 12 hours, so we generally eat a pretty full meal in the morning. Please let me know if there is any way you can accommodate us! I look forward to hearing from you and thank you so much!

Good Morning, we are working on a plan today and should have information tomorrow. It will most likely be a pre-made meal that you can take to go that you can pick up each evening. Thanks!!!!

Ellicott, 4/30/19, 11:43pm

As I was leaving the diner around 1 today, there was a girl beside me who was also leaving. She had half a slice of pizza in her hand and was eating it as she walked by the entrance lady. The girl was immediately confronted and told she could not take the pizza outside. I think that this is ridiculous considering that she was in the process of eating the slice. This forced the girl to stuff the rest of the pizza into her mouth. This is also a safety hazard

Our actual policy is that nothing can be carried out. Our practice is that one item is okay – either a piece of fruit or a handheld dessert. Our staff was simply following our policy in this situation. We will have a talk with them to make sure the conversation is handled politely and without embarrassing the student.

4/30/19, 11:41am

Good Morning, I wanted to know if the diner offers accommodations for Muslim students during Ramadan? FYI: Ramadan is the month of fasting, in which Muslims wake up and eat a meal before sunrise and after sunset, and fast all day. The first day of Ramadan this year is either this Sunday May 5th or Monday May 6th.

Good Morning, we are working on a plan to take care of your request for breakfast accommodations for Ramadan. We have had several other request and want to take care of our students. We were able to discuss this with our director and are planning on offering a to go meal that each student can pre-order and pick up each night so they have breakfast in the morning. I have a question for you. What would be a reasonable meal for breakfast during Ramadan? We would prepare this each day for pick up in the evening, The meal would be cold and package to go from each of the dining rooms, not every student has accessibility to a microwave. I know this is short notice but if you could answer me today so we can get this ready for Sunday May 5 in the evening. Thanks!!!!

Ellicott, 4/30/19 1:02 pm

I’m wondering where the Cavatappi smoked Gouda mac and cheese is. It’s usually at the New Yorker station but it hasn’t been there yesterday or today when it’s on the menu. Is it at a different dining hall this week, or a different location? I looked around the Diner but couldn’t find it at all. Thanks

I’m not sure which menu you are looking at, but the New Yorker station has a weekly rotating menu and we have many concepts that we alternate based on time of year and student preferences. Our counts have shown the Mac and Cheese Bar is less popular since we started running it more often last Fall.  this week, we decided to offer a Baked Potato Bar in its place and that is what should be posted on our online menu. While I know the mac and cheese on Clucker’s is not Cavatappi with smoked Gouda, you could get our regular mac and cheese and add toppings from other stations including New Yorker.

I’m sorry for the inconvenience.  Be on the lookout for a possible Mac and Cheese Bar at another dining hall next week.

South 4/30/19 9:27 am

Could we please have pancakes as a staple breakfast food? They’re the reason I wake up on Tuesday mornings. :’)

South 4/29/19 1:42pm

I saw that you now have emergency Epi-Pens. My brother has severe allergies and so I’m very excited to see these new additions to the diner! I think it would be great if this could also include some educational material about recognizing an anaphylactic reaction so that students can learn more about allergies and recognize when another diner patron may need the Epi-Pen/emergency assistance. Having grown up with a sibling with allergies, I was trained by my parents to understand the symptoms of an allergic reaction and how to administer an Epi-Pen. I don’t think this is common knowledge, despite the prevalence of food allergies in the public. I’m sure (for liability reasons) you’d probably prefer trained staff to be the only ones to administer an Epi-Pen, but I think the rest of the diner patrons should at least be able to recognize when one is needed (to either get help or administer it themselves, if comfortable). It would be good to follow this information with the other crucial steps in this process – specifically calling 911 (or 301-405-3333 on campus) Here are a couple links describing the symptoms of anaphylactic reaction: https://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/what-is-anaphylaxis.aspxhttps://www.foodallergy.org/life-with-food-allergies/food-allergy-101/symptoms-of-an-allergic-reaction-to-food https://acaai.org/allergies/anaphylaxis I was envisioning an info graphic with the symptoms of a reaction, steps to administer an Epi-Pen, and other important relevant information. This would probably be best as a poster immediately next to the Epi-Pen box, but would also be good information to have in all of the table cards for a week or so.

This is an excellent idea. I shared your comments with our director – who is very interested. She will confer with the Health Center on what is appropriate and how to best get the word out. I’ll keep you posted on what we learn. if you don’t hear from us, please feel free to reach out to me again.

South 4/29/19 12:00pm

Why haven’t we had any chicken pizza in a while? I only eat the white pizzas so I haven’t been able to have any in a while which makes me sad.

Great to know that the chicken pizza has a fan base. We did have it last friday – so I guess you really have to keep your eyes open and grab it while its here! Look for it again next week.

South 4/29/19 10:58 am

the chicken fajita strips in the taco section taste much better! thank you

Ellicott 4/29/19 12:43am

Food is often dry, especially the eggs. Occasionally spraying them with water using spray bottles would probably help. It’d also be nice to always have at least one light broth-based soup instead of cream-based, like miso and matzo ball. The meat dish in the stir-fry section still has too small chunks of meat, and they’re usually taken such that there’s only aromatics left.

Ellicott, 4/28/19 1:02 pm

I’m wondering where the Cavatapi smoked gouda mac and cheese is. It’s usually at the New Yorker station but it hasn’t been there yesterday or today when it’s on the menu. Is it at a different dining hall this week, or a different location? I looked around the Diner but couldn’t find it at all. Thanks

Dear Diner Guest, I’m not sure which menu you are looking at, but the New Yorker station has a weekly rotating menu and we have many concepts that we can plug in based on time of year and student wants. Our counts have shown the Mac and Cheese Bar to be less popular after running it more often since last Fall.  We decided to offer a Baked Potato Bar in its place this week. While I know the mac and cheese on Clucker’s is not cavatappi with smoked gouda, you could get our regular mac and cheese and add toppings from other stations including New Yorker.

I’m sorry for the inconvenience.  Be on the lookout for a possible Mac and Cheese Bar at another dining hall next week.

Ellicott, 4/24/19 4:57 pm

Can the marinara sauce have less red pepper? It’s too spicy. If someone wants red pepper they can add it. I’m bothered that when I don’t see anything I like, I can’t even get pasta with simple marinara (since that’s an option). I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I overheard someone say “I like spicy food but I can’t eat the Italian food in the diner because it just tastes nasty.” I don’t like spicy food, and marinara isn’t supposed to be spicy in the first place.

Ellicott, 4/24/19 4:57 pm

I was in the diner around 6:30 yesterday, and noticed that the matzo ball soup had a few kernels of corn in the matzo balls. This is not strictly forbidden for most people during Passover, but is contrary to custom for some, and was therefore surprising to find in a dish that I had assumed was put out this week explicitly for those following the holiday. Given this, it may be helpful to put a notice with the full ingredients list there as you typically do for the rest of the soups. Or if this was instead unintentional, then be advised of the contamination when preparing it in the future.

Thank you for commenting. We have not been able to uncover how corn may have gotten in the matzo balls. They aren’t in the ingredients and our cooks are very aware that they are cooking for a special event with specific requirements I am sorry this happened to you.

South 4/28/19 9:27 am

Could we please have pancakes as a staple breakfast food? They’re the reason I wake up on Tuesday mornings. :’)

Ellicott, 4/23/19, 7:27pm

Asian food ginger is tooooo strong

Union Shop 4/23/19, 12:10 pm

The little grains and greens salads offered in the Union Shop are great! Quick, cheap & healthy! Thank you!! As for the larger salads, it would be nice to see a few more meat-free options that are more exciting than a plain garden salad.

Ellicott, 4/23/19, 7:27pm

Asian food ginger is tooooo strong

South, 4/19/19, 6:21pm

Hello, a few weeks back i had sent some feedback regarding the content shown on the TV’s. As a public institution thats committed towards fostering a diversity of ideas and opinion, the University of Maryland’s South Campus Diner (SCD) should reflect this idea when it comes to keeping students informed with current events. Before i sent my first feedback response, every evening two out of the four TV’s in SCD would be playing CNN & MSNBC, with the other two playing ESPN or TNT. I proposed that if CNN and MSNBC were going to be shown to students, then at least one of the remaining two TV’s should also show Fox News, as it is the most watched cable news channel and would serve as a balance to the bias students get exposed to by only getting their news from one side of the aisle every morning. Now, every evening I walk into the SCD since I submitted my first response, One of the TV’s is on CNN, TWO show MSNBC, and one show’s ESPN. It is as if my feedback was completely rebuked and the Department of Dining Services (DDS) basically wanted to piss off moderate conservatives on campus. I even once asked a SCD staff member one evening if they could change the channel to Fox News on one of the two TV’s that were showing MSNBC, and they refused to do so!!! If DDS and SCD do not want to show Fox News to students, then they shouldn’t be showing equally biased news such as CNN and MSNBC to students either. I believe that the DDS and SCD should set one tv on Fox News for every other tv is playing MSNBC and CNN (so basically a 1:1:1 ratio of CNN:MSNBC:Fox News). And while this might sound overly critical to all the staff member in SCD, I want to give credit to the members of the morning SCD staff as they often play Fox News on one of the four tv’s, as opposed to the afternoon/evening staff that puts MSNBC on TWO TV”s and CNN on the third TV. I hope this issue gets resolved promptly and if necessary, a sizable amount of students and I will bring this issue as far up as President Lo’s office.

I wanted to reach out to you concerning your frustrations with our television channels. We couldn’t agree more with your expectations, in fact the televisions have been monitored to ensure your request was met for all students. I have already reemphasized your concerns with out team. We are aware of an app students use to turn their phone into a remote control to change channels in our dining room. This isn’t the first example of this happening, unfortunately there isn’t a way to block that from happening. Please feel free to ask a manager or the cashier to change the channel of the television of your choice to the channel of your choice, this is a common practice amongst your peers. I would be happy to meet in person to discuss further if you are available.  

Ellicott, 4/19/19, 5:03pm

The beef taco meat at the Jalapeño Grill station has recently been sloppy Joe meat and not actually taco meat. It makes anything you put the beef in taste weird.

My name is Scott, and I’m the Executive Sous Chef at the Ellicott Diner. We have received your comments regarding your experience with the Taco meat at the Jalapeno Grill. I would like to begin by apologizing for the problems you have encountered in the Diner. I have spoken to the staff regarding the Taco meat and we are actively working to make sure that all recipes are being followed. Going forward, we ask if you see anything that you feel needs our attention, please direct your concerns immediately to our staff and they will notify a Manager or Chef so we can address the issue and apply corrective measures on the spot. Your comments provide us with a teaching opportunity for both staff and Chefs alike to remedy these issues regarding the quality of our food as well as the customer service that we pride ourselves on. We remain committed to providing you with the best experience possible  during your time here at Maryland. Please feel free to contact me with any other questions or concerns.

Ellicott, 4/19/19, 12:18pm

Why is the marinara sauce so spicy? I’m fine with spicy food but why marinara? I would love it if you guys made a new recipe or something for the marinara because it is really bad. It also separates so that the liquid spills all over your plate and the solid is this weird spicy tomato mash.

Good afternoon, sorry for the late reply. We have had several complaint about the marinara being spicy. This is a fresh made sauce that does not contains very little pepper products. The flavor you are tasting is the garlic. With that being said there was nothing I could change this year do to the product being produced by an outside company specifically for us. I will be changing the recipe slightly for the fall semester. Thank you for your comments!!

South, 4/19/19, 9:22am


South 4/18/19 11:38am

There is some offensive graffiti on the wall across from the toilet in the first stall in the men’s room (closest to the door). Please remove it as soon as possible.

Good morning! Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention! We are having it removed immediately.

Ellicott 4/16/19 2:55pm

My concern is about the allergy label for the fish and shellfish. Since I am allergic to shellfish only, I stay away from most of the stuff that have the fish allergy icon “F” because I have no idea if the food contains shellfish, even though most of the food with the F label contain only fish and not shellfish. What I think would help a lot is to create an allergy icon for shellfish (SF), which is separate from the fish category, for next semester onwards so I do not have to fear whether a certain food has shellfish or not due to the fish and shellfish category being combined together. Thank you!

Thank you for your suggestion and we will certainly work on this as soon as possible but it will be ready for the fall semester.  We will add the icon you suggest SF.

South 4/16/19 11:50am

How long does it take for anyone to contact me about the job? How long will it take to start the job?

I’m a little confused. Did you apply for a job with Dining Services? Are you wondering if there’s work and how to apply? Please send me more information so I can respond.

Ellicott 4/16/19 8:54pm

PLZ offer lasagna more at north campus diner and 251

251 North 4/14/19 3:00 pm

What happened to the brownies at 251? There seems to be only toppings by the soft serve. Also, what happened to the Oreo brownies with raspberry swirl – now it is Oreo with chocolate. Boring.

We thought we had a full cart of borwnies in the freezer. They are back today???
There has never been a cut/bar shape brownie with rasp swirl. We have had raspberry swirl brownie cakes at one time- haven’t been any orders for them from the dining halls in a very long time. Generally units order cheesecake or M&M  brownie cakes.

Ellicott, 4/13/19, 11:04am

No Avocados

Ellicott, 4/12/19, 11:28am

More plain bagels available at north diner please.

251 North, 4/11/19, 6:59pm

Please have corn muffins with NO cinnamon at 251. I am allergic and have been unable to eat them for months and they are delicious without cinnamon. thanks !

We investigated and while the official recipe does not call for cinnamon, one of the cooks was adding it as a “treat” and because that is how it was done in their homeland. The operations team has directed the staff to omit cinnamon from corn muffins. Thank you for writing in, please let me know what you see in the future!

Ellicott, 4/10/19, 9:11pm

I loved the Thai Golden Vegetable Curry at the vegan station tonight! Just the right amount of salt, and it had some really rich, pleasant flavors. I hope you guys make it again soon!

South 4/10/19, 2:55pm

You guys… the Thai shrimp curry today was positively delicious. I’m not an expert but that ish tasted good. Thank you thank you thank you – please serve more of it!!


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