Oliver Weir is someone many people in Stephenville came to know as the owner of Simply Deli off the courthouse square, followed by a stint as owner of Simply Delicious in the Rockin' P.
Now his restaurant, Simply Big O’s Delicious, combines the best of both and more and is located across the street from Tarleton next to Bostock’s on Washington Street. Suffice it to say it’s a pleasant diversion from the more familiar Tex-Mex and home-cooking restaurants that dot the city landscape in Stephenville.
Asked how his work came about he says, “Well, it was all because of a young lady so I wanted to live in Stephenville. But if you ever look at the classifieds it seems all they’re ever looking for are truckers and nurses – and I’m neither.
“I’m a bit of a foodie and I’d gone to a number of restaurants here and I felt like I could find myself a niche doing something interesting like soups and salads.”
Weir took the plunge and says that once he started Simply Deli, it built up to be so busy that he and his wife, Sherry, wanted to expand.
“But there’s been a history of restaurants here that do well on the square,” he says, “however, when they want to get larger and go elsewhere, they flatline.
“So we went over into the Rockin’ P, which of course is still on the square, and we moved in where Café Trifles had been. They have a fabulous kitchen there and my wife and I were doing things like curries and Yorkshire pudding, pies, things like that.
“We enjoyed that location but they allowed smoking in the bar and it’s very hard to have fine dining where there’s smoking.”
Weir explains that when their lease ended at Rockin’ P, they combined the best of both businesses at the present location, thinking they might want to go uptown eventually,
“But we’ve gotten ourselves comfortable here now and being close to the Tarleton campus of course means more students and faculty as our customers,” he says. “Because of that I need things here to be easy, fast, delicious and affordable – and they are.”
One of the specialties at Simply Big O's Delicious is gyros. Not familiar with the term gyro?
Well, it's a delicious Greek-style sandwich made with roasted chicken, lamb, beef or pork, or a combination of lamb and beef served with tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce wrapped in a pita or sandwich bread.
But it’s not just the gyros that are great there and the food isn’t all Greek; there are many different kinds of cuisines represented at Big O's and in my experience, it’s delicious across the board.
Among the great stuff to eat at Big O's are fresh quiches every day and wonderful salads that include a very special chicken salad, as well as smoked chicken, ham, turkey and chef salads.
The soups are delicious too: Tomato basil and cream of mushroom are served every day, with others rotating depending on the day including twice-baked potato, chicken florentine, lobster bisque, chicken and rice and on some days, whatever Oliver dreams up.
Regular sandwiches run the gamut: Turkey, ham, smoked chicken, roast beef, pastrami, chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad, veggie and BLT. Rounding out the sandwich department there's also grilled cheese [American or Greek] regular Reuben and the Big O Reuben, the Big O Pesto, French dip, mushroom and swiss, Philly, Dagwood and club.
For desserts there are homemade sweet crepes – made from Oliver’s French mother’s recipes - blintzes and a wide varieties of iced teas and soft drinks.
My advice - as someone who eats there two or three times a week - is to jump in and try anything on the menu. There's little chance you'll be disappointed.
Open Monday - Friday 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. and they are closed on Sunday. Simply Big O’s Delicious is located at 1350 W. Washington St, Suite 1150. Phone 254-965-1920.