The fast-casual restaurant trend has a healthy new option: Flower Child, which opened last week at 2580 Arapahoe Avenue in Boulder.
Born from the mind of Phoenix-based restaurateur Sam Fox, this mini-chain (with twelve nationwide locations and growing) touts whole foods, diet-friendly meals, loads of vegetables and a healthy-eating mentality. The menu proves a vast landscape of appetizers, sandwiches, soup, salads, platters of plant-based sides and desserts.
From the starter menu, for example, you can sample heirloom tomato toast with pistachio pesto, or crushed-avocado toast with a soft egg and white cheddar. The salad list runs long; standouts include the watermelon and farro salad packed with heirloom tomatoes, radishes, crispy garbanzo beans, leafy greens and preserved-lemon vinaigrette. Flower Child also offers a unique take on the ubiquitous kale salad, a dish full of tart pink grapefruit, apples, black currants, smoked almonds, white cheddar and a pleasing apple cider vinaigrette.
For bigger bites, Flower Child hops on the bowl bandwagon; there's one with Madras curry laced with potatoes, heirloom carrots, green beans, sweet onion and coconut, and a vegan poke bowl, which subs marinated beets for raw fish and adds pickled mushrooms, cucumbers, wasabi peas, smoked dulse (a type of seaweed), brown rice and spicy ponzu to the mix. You can add organic protein to any of the bowls or salads, including salmon (sustainable, the company says), tofu, grass-fed steak or chicken.
Flower Child does wraps, too, using whole-wheat, flax and chia-seed tortillas baked in house. They're wrapped around all sorts of tasty things: smoked turkey, spicy tofu, Port Salut cheese, horseradish-laced yogurt and fresh vegetables, to name a few. Diners can also pick from a list of "Plates," small dishes that can be ordered individually or in sets ($4 each, two for $7 or three for $9), and have them served on one platter or in neat little bowls. There are fourteen options, including grilled asparagus with ancient grains and ginger miso, chile-glazed sweet potatoes with bok choy and sesame seeds, and Sichuan green beans with snap peas and fermented chiles.
Pair the feast with seasonal lemonade, iced tea, cold-brew coffee on tap, or a glass of Rowdy Mermaid kombucha, which Flower Child serves on tap as well. A small selection of Colorado beers by the can and six- or eight-ounce pours of wine are also available.
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The bright, airy counter-service space has 68 seats and proves big enough for large groups looking for a quick bite, or great for those just wanting a simple and quick two-person dinner al fresco.
The original Flower Child launched in 2014 in Phoenix and now has outposts in Arizona, California and Texas. This is the first in Colorado, but Fox Restaurant Concepts is the same group that brought Denver True Food Kitchen in 2012, which Fox developed with Dr. Andrew Weil to showcase healthy foods that follow the "anti-inflammatory pyramid." True Food Kitchen was sold in 2017, but FRC also runs North Italia in Cherry Creek. Fox started his restaurant empire with Wildflower in Tucson in 1998, and over the past two decades has sprouted health-conscious restaurants all across the country.
But for now it's just the two FRC restaurants in Colorado. Visit Flower Child any day of the week for lunch or dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.