By Sam Schmieder
Ovo Simply Veggie offers a unique menu filled with vegetarian and vegan options for anyone interested in straying away from the normal meat-fueled restaurants in College Park.
The owner of the restaurant, Derrick Chang, opened Ovo Simply Veggie, located on Route 1, in January.
“I opened the restaurant for two reasons,” Chang said. “Because of my personal philosophy and because there’s no availability for this kind of food in College Park. There was an opportunity and I took it.”
Chang has been a vegetarian for 23 years and in the restaurant business for nine, so he’s no stranger to the unique diet of vegans and vegetarians or the demands of a restaurant. Although this is his first time owning a restaurant, he is excited to see his business grow.
“I’m still trying to figure out the business pattern,” he said. “So far we’ve been doing really well.”
Chang explained that for a couple weeks before spring break he was getting a steady lunch crowd with a bunch of regulars. Recently, however, things have been a lot slower but he doesn’t seem discouraged.
Junior French major Gillian McBride decided to become vegan for a month earlier this year and Ovo gave her the perfect break from cooking her own meals.
“I couldn’t believe that everything we ordered was vegan, it was so good,” McBride said. “My favorite thing was the jicama rolls.”
The menu offers different appetizers and combo meals that come with a side of brown or Jasmine rice, a main entrée protein, soup, salad and a tea or soda. The proteins are all prepared in your choice of sauce and style varying from peppercorn tofu to coconut green curry mushroom protein.
Though the restaurant is vegan, many non-vegans come to Ovo as well. Chang said he thinks that the business he gets is a half and half mix of vegetarians and others who just want to try something new.
Although junior criminology major Poe Karver isn’t particularly a fan of vegetarian cuisine, she wasn’t opposed to giving the new restaurant a go.
“I don’t like tofu, but everything on the menu sounds like it could be pretty good,” Karver said. “I doubt it will be my favorite place, but it’s different and worth a try.”
It would seem as if the biggest obstacle for Ovo is the pickiness of college students as a whole. Although not all students are scared of new things, most are completely content with their french fry and pizza-heavy diet.
“Even after trying out veganism, I’ve been back a couple of times,” McBride said. “It’s a nice break from the heavy and greasy things college kids eat on a daily basis.”