UPDATE: This restaurant has permanently closed.
A new vegan restaurant had opened in College Park, Maryland back in January of 2013, but I never made it out to check it out. I recently realized this and decided it was time so I reached out to a friend and we headed over.
The restaurant is vegan and is oddly named Ovo Simply Veggie. "Ovo" means egg in several languages so why one would name a vegan restaurant after an egg, I may never understand. What's interesting is when we asked this question, the guy that was working the front of the house, stated that he didn't know either, but suggested it stood for "Organic, Vegan, and Oogave" (a brand of drink they sell there). It sounded like he made that up so I called the next day and asked if any of their food was organic. They said only some of the teas. So if the food is not organic, then why name it Ovo? I still don't understand.
It is a very small cafe in a college town with a pretty cool decor. There is a waterfall on the wall when you first walk in, modern art on the rest of the walls, and white chairs with dark tables. It was pretty cool looking, actually.
The menu is unusual in that there aren't set entrees to choose from. Instead, you first choose your protein or veggies: either seaweed yuba, tofu, mushroom protein, soy protein, or field vegetables. Seaweed yuba is made of seaweed and tofu skins -- the filmy skin that develops when making tofu. Mushroom protein is made of mushrooms and soy fibers. Recommended sauces are listed under each protein and vegetable. You can choose any sauce from any category though. With that many choices, I found it very difficult to choose! You can also choose the combo, which comes with a soup, salad, or beverage. We finally placed our orders and took a seat.
I went with a tea and the combo complete with a soup and entree. The tea was served first, as appropriate. It was a delightful organic fruit and flower tea served in a double-walled glass.
Then my soup and entree were served together while my friend waited five minutes for her meal. That was awkward. So I ate my soup while she waited. I got the wonton soup. Each wonton was filled with soy fiber and scallions. It was rich and satisfying. I really liked it.
For my entree, I went with the mushroom protein in the black pepper sauce. Oh my goodness, was this good! The mushroom/soy nuggets were hearty and tasty and the sauce was rich with black pepper goodness. Served with the mushroom protein was green peppers, mushrooms, and onions. They gave me some sriracha on the side as well. Served with brown rice, this was a very filing meal. Not to mention that the presentation was quite nice for a $9 meal.
My friend's meal was equally as good. She got the seaweed yuba served with baby corn, bamboo shoots, and green peppers in a coconut green curry sauce. The sauce had just the right amount of flavor and the seaweed yuba was amazing. I was very impressed.
For a small cafe in a college town, this place has exceptional food. The prices are incredibly low as well. I only wish they would source non-GMO proteins. They said their tofu was non-GMO, but they were unsure about the other products, which probably means they are GMOs. I hope they source non-GMO in the future. Either way, I really hope they someday expand to DC, but for now, I'll be making the trek to College Park. This is definitely one of the best vegan restaurants in the DC metro area.
Ovo Simply Veggie
7313 Baltimore Avenue
College Park, MD 20740