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A few days ago, I was invited to the opening of Flower Child restaurant in Boulder, CO. This is the first location in Colorado for Flower Child, although they already operate in Arizona, California, Texas, Nevada, Georgia and Maryland with Washington DC and Virginia coming soon. Boulder is about a 40 minute drive from downtown Denver and Flower Child is nestled in a strip center on Arapahoe Blvd. not far from the University of Colorado campus.
Flower Child is a fast-casual concept where you order and pay at the counter and the food is delivered to your table. True to its name, Flower Child has a casual, hippie vibe that is just perfect for Boulder (and for Colorado in general). The decor and menu reminded me a little bit of True Foods, and I later found out that True Foods was also started by Fox Restaurant Concepts, although they later spun it off.
Now let’s talk about the FOOD! All Flower Child food is made from scratch, using fresh ingredients from close to home. The vegetable-forward menu focuses on salads, plates (where you can choose from a variety of options to create your own meal), bowls and wraps. Protein options include chicken, salmon, grass-fed steak and non-GMO tofu. Meal prices are around $10 which is very reasonable given the high quality of the ingredients. All of the items are clearly labeled making it super easy to eat vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free or sugar-free.
I went with two girlfriends so we were able to try a lot of different things, starting with Avocado Hummus topped with sweet corn, radish, clementine and pumpkin seeds. It was served with a house made flax and chia seed wrap, but you can substitute a gluten-free pita or raw veggies for dipping. It was the perfect mashup of guacamole and hummus, not overly spicy, and we scarfed it down.
The Vietnamese Crunch Salad featured savoy cabbage, romaine, quinoa, tomato, bell pepper, pineapple, avocado, cashew, thai basil, cilantro, mint and a spicy lemongrass vinaigrette. We added grass-fed steak for an additional $6 and it completely exceeded my expectations for a fast-casual restaurant. I was thrilled that the steak was tender and not overcooked.
We also tried the Organic Kale Salad (pink grapefruit, organic apple, black currant, smoked almonds, white cheddar) with an apple cider vinaigrette topped with a perfectly cooked piece of sustainable salmon. The Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon salad was a seasonal offering, simply dressed with a saba vinaigrette, mint, basil and smoked sea salt. It was perfect for a late summer afternoon. Finally, we tried the gluten-free macaroni and cheese and let me tell you that I would drive back to Boulder right this minute to eat it again. It tasted like “real” macaroni and cheese with none of the chewy or odd taste or texture issues that gluten-free pasta tends to have.
We also tried the “pick three plate” where you can choose a variety of vegetable or starch options along with a protein. I tried the salmon along with Indian Spiced Cauliflower with turmeric and almonds, Sichuan Green Beans with snap peas, fermented chili and cilantro and the Simple Sauted Broccoli (which was indeed quite ordinary.) I was kicking myself later for not trying the Spicy Japanese Eggplant or the Red Chili Glazed Sweet Potato. So they are both on my list for my next visit.
For beverages, Flower Child offers seasonal lemonade, several kinds of iced tea (including a decaf version), fresh juices, kombucha and cold brew on tap as well as a selection of wine (including Prosecco) and Colorado beers. The Kombucha was tasty with ginger undertones but not overly spicy.
For dessert (because you know we were not about to skip dessert) we tried the gluten-free brownie which was rich, chocolatey, moist and not overly sweet. We also tried the vegan chocolate pudding which was made with coconut milk and topped with almonds and coconut. Very, very yummy.
In summary, after one visit to Flower Child I’m a big BIG fan. My only criticism is that they don’t have a location in Denver (although I’m hopeful that will change in the future.) If there was one closer by, I’m confident it would become my “go to” restaurant for the days I don’t feel like cooking. For now, I’ll look forward to going back to Flower Child the next time I’m in Boulder.
Every Tuesday I try a new product and post a review. This is not an ad. I did receive a free meal at Wild Flower but the views expressed are my own and I have received no compensation for this post.