I was thrilled to get a behind-the-scenes look at a new chain eatery opening its first Colorado location this weekend at the Flower Child soft open. Food writing may not pay a ton, but there are perks! And my lunch at Flower Child was certainly a treat.
My first impression of the place, which has churned through several restaurant concepts, was the killer interior design, which is often lacking in fast-casual dining. I’m looking at Chipotle here with its echoing industrial spaces that consider exposed ductwork design. At Flower Child, the dining room and its covered patio are dripping with artistic taste and literal flowers — on the tables, in the artwork. Even server uniforms are even floral, those servers also being a nice treat for this kind of concept.
While you order at the counter and to-go deliveries are not only available but highly efficient, service feels sits down at Flower Child. Perhaps that service adds a bit to overall costs, but Flower Child’s target audience isn’t penny pinchers but instead health nuts, who usually don’t mind spending a bit extra for quality.
And as a vegetable lover, I was impressed with the quality and variety of fresh veggies on the menu. More importantly, fresh veggies packed with spices and flavor. My pick-three sides plate ($9) was composed of spicy Japanese eggplant, red chili glazed sweet potato and Indian spiced cauliflower.
But in fact, you can also add protein to almost any Flower Child menu item, such as this Madras Curry ($9) with salmon ($7 upcharge). As a curry connoisseur, I can vouch that the sauce wasn’t spicy but was definitely spiced to a nice umami.
The star of my visit, however, was…
… the Crushed Avocado Toast ($7) with soft egg, black sesame seed and white cheddar on Dave’s Killer multigrain bread. How millennial, I know. How derivative and trendy, I know. But dammit, the soft egg is a brilliant addition to the creamy avocado. All those healthy fats (monounsaturated in the avocado, omega 3 in the eggs) together in one place is heaven.
Plus, I don’t think Flower Child cares all too much about being derivative or pandering to trends. Despite being a corporate chain, they’ve gone all-out on the hippie vibe and let that flag fly. They’ve got cold-crew coffee and Rowdy Mermaid kombucha on tap served in mason jars. I mean, this is a restaurant that painted an admittedly lovely mural with a JRR Tolkien quote in the perfect dimensions for Instagram or any social-media cover pic.
My server admitted that the college kids have been snapping pics and selfies already and the restaurant is not even open yet!
Or at least, it wasn’t during the weekend’s soft open. Doors open on the new Flower Child Boulder tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 22. Boulder already has a few healthy restaurants that focus on healthy, gluten-free, paleo, vegan and/or organic foods, but the Boulder market can bear at least this one more. Vegans, like the rest of us, should have options when they eat out. Flower Child is also one such place that I would enjoy hanging out, whether on the patio or in the stylish dining room.
Tomorrow, during their grand opening, you can not only taste their fare, but Flower Child will also:
- Hand out complimentary flower bouquets to 300 lucky guests,
- Distribute flower-seed lollypops (Whu? Apparently you eat the candy then plant the stick, which contains mystery seeds, either a flower or an herb),
- And enjoy samples of the Rowdy Mermaid kombucha.
So go hippie, peace out, and enjoy the avocado toast, folks. Flower CHild Boulder will be open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at 2580 Arapahoe Ave. Find out more on their website or on Instagram (@eatflowerchild) and Facebook.