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.

South, 11/16/17, 9:38pm
Hey! That pumpkin pie for thanksgiving dinner was amazing!!! Please send or put out the recipe!!! Would love to make it for the family!!! Please send the recipe to my email!

South, 11/16/17, 4:52pm
I found a hair in my mashed potatoes and I know it’s not mine because it’s long and my hair is tied up. Do better

251 North, 11/16/17, 4:30pm
Thanksgiving dinner is good 🙂

Ellicott, 11/15/17, 10:30pm
Because certain people have late classes like myself I feel the diner should still have food for those coming late. I am in freshman connection and generally eat late and majority of time I come I am always told that food ran out but I feel there should be enough to last till 12 being that those are week day times.
I am sorry, I totally get that this is disappointing and not pleasant or useful.

We have specifically set our menus to serve dinner all evening so that students who are in class late can find a balanced and tasty meal at the end of their day.
We do try to end the night having minimized left overs. If we’re low or almost out of something that takes significant time to make we might not replace it (and Terrapin Favorites are served until they run out).
One final note: The guest comments are meant to help us see what you see. Could you tell me what specific items or types of items run out – and about how often do they run out?

Ellicott, 11/15/17, 10:30pm
Most recent and pretty simple if you all serve tacos, by the time I’m able to come they run out of salsa or sour cream which I think are simple things.

Ellicott, 11/15/17, 10:19pm
I had an extremely poor experience in which I was accused by the dining hall worker at the door of stealing a banana. Firstly, I did not take a banana, as with unlimited swipes if I needed a banana I would just go back in and eat a banana. What really upset me was that I was berated and treating like a criminal by a dining hall employee. If these employees are going to be interacting with other human beings they should be taught kindness and respect.
I’m very sorry you experienced this in the Diner yesterday.  We train our employees to be hospitable and respectful and it is completely inappropriate for our cashier to react in a way that made you feel uncomfortable.  We immediately spoke with our staff about the incident.  Please understand that it is the cashier’s job to make sure guests are not abusing our no “take out” rule.  While you may not have been taking anything, students often try to walk out with food.  We allow guests to walk out with a dessert or piece of fruit but anything more than that is not allowed.  We will use this incident to retrain our cashiers and stress great guest service.
Again, I am very sorry about this incident.  In the future, if you ever have a question, comment, or concern while in the Diner, please ask for a manager and we will do our best to make sure you leave happy.
Have a great Thanksgiving break!
South, 11/15/17, 10:18pm

I had an extremely poor experience in which I was accused by the dining hall worker at the door of stealing a banana. Firstly, I did not take a banana, as with unlimited swipes if I needed a banana I would just go back in and eat a banana. What really upset me was that I was berated and treating like a criminal by a dining hall employee.

I am sorry that you were yelled at – that’s not how we want our guests to be treated; it can’t have felt good. We will have conversations about this to be sure.
As you know, there is a limit on what can be carried out of the dining hall; we need to balance practicality with reasonable-ness. While we want to be warmly hospitable, our dining program is not intended to include carryout. I believe that the cashier was trying to look out for the best interest of the dining hall and making sure the policies are followed. I get it that you weren’t taking anything out and we will try to find a way to “hold the line” without treating good people like criminals.
Again, I apologize that you were berated and I thank you for your understanding.

Ellicott, 11/15/17 9:07pm
The marinara sauce is spicy but never labeled as such, there should be a non spicy marinara sauce available

Thank you for writing in about your experience with our marinara sauce.  We do have a few different sauces that we rotate and they all should be labeled. They include red pepper sauce, Bolognese, and clam sauce.  I will look into what happened and focus especially on signage.  The good news is, unless we have a special pop-up on that station, there is always a plain marinara and Alfredo sauce on that station available to add to your meal.
If you ever have a question, comment, or concern, please ask for a manager or chef and we will be happy to help.  We are here to serve.

Ellicott, 11/15/17, 5:58pm
Ramen bar is awesome but you should have option to put eggs on the ramen!

Ellicott, 11/15/17, 5:52pm
Love the new foods and new ramen bar, however I’m wondering if we can have Kimchi at the diner

Ellicott, 11/15/17, 5:36pm
Can you guys do wings night more often? Please?

Glad you like the wings!
We do offer them several time each semester and know that they are popular. We will certainly include your comment as we plan for the spring semester.

South Campus, 11/14/14 7:21PM
It would be nice to have more non-greasy vegetables at the vegan bar. Instead of having oily cauliflower, simply steamed cauliflower would be nice. I try to eat healthy, but whenever I eat vegetables, I often come away feeling just as greasy and gross

South 11/14/17 6:11PM
Need more raw vegetable options. The vegetables at the vegan bar can be very greasy.

251 11/14/17 5:00 pm
Comment or Concern If I had to slap my mother to get a muffin here at 251 I would do it 100 times

251 11/14/17 4:00 pm
Comment or Concern The grilled cheese & tomato soup is so good please make this a regular!

251 11/14/17 6:51pm
Comment or Concern Okay but for real, cinnamon sticks are lit

Ellicott, 11/14/17, 12:16pm
I would just like to let you all know that there were dead bugs in my Apple last night. Please fix this! It’s disgusting! My parents don’t pay thousands each semester for me to digest insects! Thanks.

I am so sorry this happened. It’s not what you want or expect and not what we work hard provide. We have protocols in place to minimize the chance that this will happen – but this one slipped through. I will reach out to the operations management team and let them know so they can refresh their training efforts and check the equipment and processes so that this doesn’t happen again.

South, 11/13/17, 8:41pm
I picked up a biscuit and it was as hard as a crouton! I went back to get another one and I poked them all with the tongs and they were all the same way. I would appreciate an edible biscuit.

South, 11/12/17, 11:46pm
I’d like to say that there are never enough chocolate chip cookies. There’s only ever oatmeal raisin and sugar. The chocolate chip cookies run out immediately and restocked very sparingly. Thanks!

Thank you for taking the time to give us some feedback. Our cookies are awesome….we do try to offer a chocolate chip cookie at all times however we may mix in an M&M cookie in the rotation as well as we did last night, so basically a non-chocolate and a chocolate cookie should always be available.
We did discuss the issue as a team and will continue to ensure a chocolate chip cookie is offered throughout the day and evening.

Ellicott, 11/11/17, 10:30am
I would like more bagels, because they run out too quickly and sometimes I want one for lunch.

251 North, 11/10/17, 3:30pm
There is no cornbread muffins. I am so sad.

South, 11/9/17, 4:29pm
Today as I was eating at the south campus diner I looked down and noticed something brown in the broccoli. After inspecting it, I found that there was a dead bug lying in the broccoli. I just wanted to let you know of this problem, have a good day. Attached is a picture.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we apologize. We cut over 200 pounds of broccoli a day in South Campus Hall alone – and our cooks constantly watch for insects etc. that may have gotten into the fresh broccoli. Usually, we get them in the cleaning and cutting process. All of the chefs and cooks have now seen the picture you sent in and have promised to be even more diligent in looking for insects.
Again we apologize. Have a great weekend!!!

South, 11/9/17, 12:40pm
The University of Maryland prides itself on diversity, and I think it would be consistent with ideals as well as a refreshing change for students if the rotating section of the diner served different international cuisines. Other comparable universities have these rotating stations, such as having Indian food for 2 weeks, etc.

Your idea makes perfect sense. However, the difficulty we have found in creating a “Cuisine of India” station or a “Flavors of South America” event is that we can’t make food that exactly matches the flavors that each individual student associates with their culture. And, naturally enough, students do expect us to produce the exact flavors they consider authentic.
We have researched similar events at other schools; we have spent time learning about not only the cuisine, but the culture; we have sought out and worked with student groups to create acceptable menus – and still we have gotten increasingly negative feedback.
At this point, we bring different flavors from different parts of the world to the dining halls in our regular menus, terrapin favorite specials, and larger special dinners. Please look around, you’ll see food from different parts of the world served in almost every section of the dining halls.
We do take suggestions, test them in our kitchen, and add them to our menu. If you have a suggestion for a menu item or a complete meal, please let me know!

Reply: Some ideas for international cuisine:
Mediterranean: Could be a rotating selection or a special evening, Falafel (could be added to the vegan station), Schwarma, Schnitzel, Tzatziki sauce, Shakshuka
Indian- Samosas, Dal, curry
Mexican- Tacos or Burritos, with options for red meat, white meat, or vegan meat (could be a rotating station)

251 North, 11/8/17, 8:00pm
The cornbread muffins make me so happy, I will walk miles to come to 251 just to get them!

South, 11/8/17, 5:09pm

Hi! I was wondering if you could label in the mornings which of the butters are actual butter and which is margarine? Just better for people who can’t have dairy to have a label of which is which. Also is the oatmeal made with water/vegan?

Thank you for this great comment. ​We made signs today and will use them to identify butter and the margarine in the condiment stand.

Oatmeal is made with water and is vegan​.

Thanks again; we appreciate this opportunity to improve our operation!

South, 11/6/17, 9:19pm

I am bothered by the limited amount of healthy carbs available in the main section of the dining hall on a routine basis. I wish that you would offer pre-made pasta dishes using wheat/whole grain pasta. Also, if I want a healthier grain like plain brown rice I usually have to walk all the way around to the Mongolian Grill. Please offer more whole grain options, especially pasta dishes, for people trying to eat healthier. I know at build your own pasta there is whole grain but I have yet to see a single dish of pre-prepared wheat pasta in my two years here.

You are correct that there are not any pre-made wheat pastas on the menu at this time. This is because our history shows that when students have the choice, most students chose semolina and durum wheat pasta over 100% whole wheat durum flour pasta. We see this outcome on a daily basis at the pasta stations. Also, they only dietary advantage to 100% whole wheat durum pasta when compared to the semolina and durum wheat pasta is about 4 grams of dietary fiber per portion.

I have to note that we have limited space on the serving lines to provide the options that students want, and that adding brown rice to a station in the front serving area of South Campus would force us to remove a menu item that students are currently enjoying. There is a grain and a lentil available every day in the main serving area, and brown rice at the Vegan and Asian Stations.

We are writing the spring semester menus now, and will look at changing some of the pre-made pastas to 100% whole wheat durum pasta.

South, 11/6/17, 10:49am

The Japanese chess game is missing two pieces. It’s a shame cause it’s a great game.

Thanks. Good to know that people are playing it and properly understand the set-up. We have ordered replacements!

South, 11/5/17, 12:02pm

The marinara sauce is spicy but never labeled as such; there should be a non spicy marinara sauce available.

South, 11/5/17, 11:05am

I love the grapes since they’re always so crunchy and fresh, and I’m wondering if maybe the diner can one time get green grapes in addition to red grapes so that we can have more variety in fruit. Thank you!

Ellicott, 11/4/17, 7:30pm

No options for food and the food is stale and needs to be changed.

This is truly distressing to hear, especially since that I can hear your disappointment and believe you’re reporting what you see. The problem is that we can’t address a comment this general. Is this a food handling problem or a menu-writing problem? Which food items on which station(s) are you calling out?

Ellicott, 11/4/17, 6:00pm

Please stop using bread and butter pickles, dill pickles are so much better. The bread and butter just sit there because hardly anyone likes them.

Thank you for sharing your concern. While it is just a matter of taste and everyone has different preferences, I happen to agree with you!  Please look for dill pickle slices in the near future.  We will begin offering them on the salad bar and California Deli. Thanks again for your recommendation and have a great week!

South, 11/4/17, 3:50pm

Please bring back the chipotle mayo and sour cream at the vegan station.

South, 11/4/17, 2:30pm

There’s often a lot of cross-contamination with people using knives in the peanut butter and then putting those knives on their food and then putting them back in the jar which leads to a lot of crumbs and such in the peanut butter. Maybe if there were a “no double-dipping” sign next to the jar of knives next to the peanut butter then this would help alleviate that conflict.

South, 11/4/17, 2:20pm

I noticed that the dining hall is completely nut free except for the peanut butter station, and I was wondering if the chefs had considered purchasing an alternative such as “sun butter” which is made with sunflower seeds. This would further avoid cross-contamination.

South, 11/4/17, 2:15pm

I appreciate the fact that there is a peanut butter and jelly station for those who want these spreads for their bagels or for sandwiches or for dipping vegetables or for people who can’t find other options that they want to eat. However, the peanut butter provided at this station is extremely unhealthy. As someone who grew up on peanut butter where the only ingredient was peanuts (i.e. No added salt or sugar) I often feel overwhelmed that the dining plan has added seasoning/oil/sugars in almost every prepared food and even the spreads for people who do not want what is otherwise available. I feel that there are not many “whole” food options that do not have so many added ingredients.

South, 11/4/17, 11:45am

I wish that there were some healthy cereals instead of a bunch of sugary options. Even having Cheerios would be really nice since it’s not so sweet. I grew up eating cereals that didn’t have so much added sugar in them and I feel like the ones provided are like candy instead of a meal and I can’t eat them. I know that some of my friends would also really like to have Cheerios as well.

South, 11/4/17, 11:17am

I would really like to have Cheerios as a cereal option.

South, 11/3/17, 3:38pm

I love the grilled cheese station but I was wondering if you could make them with ham sometimes. The grilled reubens are also one of my favorites – I would love to see them more often!

South, 11/2/17, 4:55pm

I love the buffalo chicken wraps but it’s just not the same on bread. It’s better in a wrap.

Thanks for providing feedback regarding your love for the buffalo chicken wrap…..I totally understand. Our aim is to provide a variety of eating preferences to enhance the dining experience for all of our guests. Some prefer the bread, some prefer the wrap, and we hope everyone appreciates having access to a variety of foods.

South, 11/2/17, 3:33pm

Diced breakfast potatoes are either not seasoned well or still hard almost everyday. Cook them better!

South, 11/1/17, 4:35pm

251 North has vegan chicken nuggets at their vegan station, which I love because they provide a meal for non-meat eaters. I wish they had them at South also.

South, 11/1/17, 11:17pm

Today I saw that the mashed sweet potatoes were labeled as vegan, but when I asked if they had dairy since mashed potatoes actually do like 99% of the time, the chef said that they did. This is just one of the incidents that I see of mislabeling foods. If something is vegan or doesn’t have the dairy symbol what if a vegan eats it thinking they can? Or what if somebody who can’t have dairy eats something and then they have a reaction because it was mislabeled?

The Mashed Sweet Potatoes are vegan and vegetarian. They should only have margarine, cinnamon and nutmeg in them. They are not using dairy products in them. One thing we need to do is work harder to make sure that the staff have better knowledge about what’s in the food they are serving. If you do see something that does not look right, please ask for the manager or chef on duty, like you did tonight. We are more than happy to assist.

South, 11/1/17, 6:13pm

Please include more vegan meat options during lunch and dinner hours. Please also offer more than just soy milk but maybe rice milk or something for non-dairy drinkers that also cannot drink soy milk. Also please consider buying foods with better ingredients (not so many artificial ingredients, colors, dyes, preservatives, etc).

Ellicott, 10/30/17, 9:00pm

I have great concern over this week’s table inserts. On each and every table, a placard was placed talking about the importance of watching calorie consumption. The implication that calories matter can be extremely harmful to students with eating disorders, or with disordered eating habits. I am extremely disappointed in the lack of consideration for this group of students. I would like all such markings be removed immediately, and in the future, greater consideration given to the needs of students who suffer mental health issues. Please respond as soon as possible, as this matter is urgent, and potentially harmful to students.

Thank you for writing in. I can hear how important this is to you and how passionate you are about it.

We are also passionate about protecting students with eating disorders and educating students with respect to better eating habits. We are frequently recognized as being staunch advocates for students with eating disorders and special dietary requirements or preferences. We have in place protocols designed to consider the best interests of these -and all- people eating in our dining halls. I’d be more than happy to discuss them with you.

Of course we will remove those table tents; they got past our safeguards and should not be on the tables. I apologize. Replacement flyers will be in place later today.

Ellicott, 10/30/17, 9:30am

There is never any oatmeal in The Diner-just an empty pot. I have experienced this on many occasions and I would really appreciate if you could make sure to refill it. Thanks!

South, 10/28/17, 6:30pm

Please bring back strawberry + banana + either yogurt or kale smoothies.

South, 10/28/17, 8:56am

Hash browns are much better! Thank you!! Keep making them the way you made them today – soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

South, 10/26/17, 9:00pm

I came to eat dinner and there’s actually no options for me because all the vegetarian options were replaced by more meat options (Homecoming Special Dinner). This diner has no idea how many students are vegetarians and it’s disgusting. None of my friends had anything to eat for dinner. Not only is this rude, it’s also showing a lack of knowledge regarding the customer base, and also it goes against UMD’s ideals for sustainability. There’s a significant number of vegan students. Additionally, non-vegan or vegetarians can eat anything without meat in it. Also having a single slider choice that was also in the vegan station meant that there were less choices over there and that the sliders went away at 8pm.

South, 10/26/17, 7:00pm

There aren’t enough vegetarian options at the diner on special nights and I feel sick this morning because I didn’t get a nutritious meal.

South, 10/26/17, 6:12pm

Offer more vegetarian friendly options such as falafels in the salad bar.

South, 10/26/17, 6:00pm

I’m not even a vegetarian but there was literally nothing to eat but tons of meat yesterday and it was just really gross. Like there were barely vegetables and everything was just carbs and greasy and fried and I felt sick afterwards. Like there should never be so much straight up meat and carbs at one time there was nothing else to eat.

Ellicott, 10/25/17, 10:38am

Breakfast should go until 11am because there are a lot of people who come in before 11 looking for breakfast. It is extremely disappointing to see that my dollars towards my dining plan cannot provide me with breakfast at 10:02am. I would greatly appreciate if breakfast could be extended a little longer, as no one is looking for lunch at 10:30am. Most students are looking for breakfast at that time, but time and time again find none.  Thank you for your consideration.

We would love to serve breakfast longer but we run into tight turnaround time with respect to lunch. We serve the full breakfast menu until 10:30 and then we have to break down, take pans to the back, clean the serving lines and the kitchen equipment, fill pans with lunch food, bring it out, and be ready by 11:00.

251 North, 10/24/17, 5:00pm

The cornbread muffins were so good today. I do not know if there were new ingredients but keep it up please!

South, 10/24/17, 9:23am

Hash brown patties are over cooked. There is not hash inside; it is just brown.

South, 10/21/17, 7:00pm

Bring back the old stir fry noodles

South, 10/19/17, 10:45pm

I would LOVE if you brought back breakfast sandwiches. It used to be an option with a fried egg, cheese, and bacon on a bagel. That would be amazing

251 North, 10/19/17, 7:00pm

The employees here are very nice, nicest staff out of all the diners.

251 North, 10/19/17, 6:00pm

Dumpling

Could you please provide more information regarding the dumplings? We want to share any positive comments and correct any concerns you might have with the dumplings.

*Comments and responses may have been edited for length, clarity, spelling or punctuation.

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