Tofu-lovers and livestock alike can rejoice; the university is rolling out its first entirely plant-based dining location, Thyme & Change 2.0.
The food truck will be parked directly beside the original Thyme & Change truck outside the Baker Systems Engineering Building and will serve a similar menu — but with 100 percent plant-based ingredients. The eatery is expected to open before the end of the month, Zia Ahmed, senior director of dining services, said, although the exact day is to be determined.
The menu will rotate daily — just like the original Thyme & Change — and will feature options such as Indian-inspired rice bowls, wraps with optional imitation chicken and breakfast sandwiches with egg and cheese substitutes.
Ahmed said he is excited about the variety Thyme & Change 2.0 will bring to campus dining options and believes the food served will be enjoyed by vegan and carnivorous students alike, despite its lack of any meat options.
Each menu item will be comparable in price to that of its meaty counterpart.
Chase Byington, a third-year in neuroscience who has been a vegetarian for nearly two years, said he is happy to see Ohio State taking steps toward becoming more vegan- and vegetarian-friendly.
“One staple for vegetarians and vegans is tofu — and campus tofu is usually just so bad — so it’s cool that they’ll hopefully have better options at this place,” Byington said.
The idea for Thyme & Change 2.0 was born when staff in the dining services department noticed that students were becoming increasingly interested in plant-based dining options. Ahmed said they tested an array of menu options with hundreds of students, the majority of whom were not vegan or vegetarian, to find products that everyone liked.
Ahmed said he is interested to see how students will respond to a menu that is entirely dedicated to plant-based food.
“One of the things we’ve noticed right now is a significant movement toward plant-based food in the industry as a whole,” Ahmed said.
Thyme & Change 2.0 will follow the same labeling guidelines that every campus dining location follows by adding the vegan “V” icon next to each of the menu items, as well as labeling each plant-based alternative as such. There will be no further plant-based labeling on the food truck.
Andrew Fischer, a first-year in history, often grabs lunch from Thyme & Change on his way to class and said he’s interested in trying something from the new food truck’s menu when it opens.
“I think it’s a good idea, especially because not all vegans or vegetarians want just tofu or something like that, so the plant-based stuff is really cool,” Fischer said.
The original Thyme & Change food truck will continue to serve the menu that has been offered since 2014.
The new food truck will be open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. — the same hours as the original.