NSU is a unique and lively campus, but that doesn’t mean Sharks can’t band together and take an afternoon to explore the South Florida area — even if that just means finding a quaint place to study.
Ovlo Eats is truly a hidden gem near campus. Tucked away in Lucky’s Market Plaza, this eatery’s relaxed atmosphere, refreshing drinks and creative food is sure to satisfy any visitor.
Walking into Ovlo Eats is instantly pleasant. Upon my recent visit, we were greeted at the door with menus and smiles and were guided along as first time patrons. The overall vibe of the restaurant is very chic and clean — with some slight adjustments, you could easily imagine the same space to be a yoga studio or a hip coffee shop. Ovlo Eats has exposed brick, neon signs, hanging plants, natural decor and more, the perfect combination for a trendy outing with friends (to be recorded for Instagram).
The food itself is much like the atmosphere: clean, fresh and creative. Their menu boasts unique salads like the farro, watermelon and feta or the chopped vegetable salad that’s anything but boring with ingredients like shaved fennel, corn, edamame and more. If you’re looking for something with a little less green, their entrees allow you to choose from proteins such as grilled chicken breast, steak, Atlantic salmon, shrimp, roasted pork or grilled tempeh, each of which come with two sides. They also offer a variety of sandwiches like the “ratatouille,” Ovlo banh mi, pork and broccoli rabe and several other sandwiches that come served on a lightly toasted artisan bread and with one side.
Their sides aren’t just your usual canned vegetable or bland salad either. The “not french fries” are fingerling potatoes “treated like tostones” and fried until crunchy, and are an exciting departure from the usual french fries that can be found on seemingly every other menu. They also offer options such as lemongrass roasted carrots, vegetable minestrone, curried lentils and a few different salads.
When I visited, I ordered the Ovlo banh mi, vegan-style, with the “not french fries” and a pomegranate iced green tea. The prices were middle of the line, and my entire meal set me back about $19. However, they are a no tipping restaurant, so the prices on the menu are exactly what you’re expected to pay (although the service does not seem to be impacted by this), and I walked out with plenty of leftovers. The food is bright and exciting, and feels healthy without sacrificing flavor and texture — by the time I left, I felt satisfied, but not weighed down. My meal was something unlike anything else I’d had in recent memory, and while I’m eager to reorder it, I’m equally interested in trying some of the other menu options. Additionally, for those with any dietary restrictions and allergies, Ovlo Eats is happy to accomodate for vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free lifestyles upon request.
Like the neon sign that hangs on their wall, Ovlo Eats certainly has the right to brag about their “food with thought.” If you’re looking for a fresh restaurant near NSU to hang out with friends and enjoy some delicious dishes, Ovlo Eats is just the spot for you.
7626 Peters Road, Plantation FL 33324
11 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily
Photo: M. Rinka