At first glance, Flower Child may be misconstrued as a simple vegan restaurant or an actual flower shop, according to some fellow eaters glancing at the daffodils, daisies, and azaleas atop tables, and plants hanging from overhead shelves. But there is so much more to it than that. It has something for everyone.
Flower Child, at 1101‐06 Uptown Park Blvd., is a health-focused chain out of Arizona and from Fox Restaurant Concepts, with locations in California, Colorado, and Nevada, and nearby in Austin and Dallas. It boasts that it uses fresh ingredients in its healthy food for both herbivores and carnivores. And that au naturel mission statement extends to the design: large windows let in the natural light, and from the dining area you can see right into the kitchen. Full transparency.
It's a fast-casual eatery, so walking up to the counter to place your order is a breeze, unless you’re like me and need to read every ingredient that goes into the meal. The menu is broken up into starters, salads, plates, bowls, wraps, and a sub-section of proteins, which are chicken, salmon, steak, and tofu. There's also a healthy kids menu that offers a choice of chicken, tofu, or steak with two sides such as broccoli with Parmesan, gluten-free mac 'n' cheese, and smashed organic potato, to name a few.
Beverages include seasonal lemonades and iced teas such as Japanese Mango Sencha Green, Passion Fruit Black, and Red Mango Tisane, all of which are made in-house. For those looking to imbibe while intaking healthy calories, Flower Child offers prosecco, rosé, chardonnay, pinot grigio, pinot noir, and malbec, plus beer from Eureka Heights, No Label, and Saint Arnold. There's also something called "Skinny beer."
I am a devout carnivore who can't remember the last time he tried tofu, but I opted to try nearly everything, and with pretty good results. I started with crushed avocado toast with a diced soft-boiled egg, topped off with white cheddar and black sesame. From the bowls section, the Vegan Poke with tofu was an assault of deliciousness and vibrancy. The ingredients—marinated beet, avocado, pickled mushrooms, cucumber, radish, wasabi peas, smoked dulse, brown rice, and spicy ponzu—combined in a complex dance of flavors, from subtle sweetness to lingering spice.
From the plates category you can pick one, two, or three items, as well as a protein, reminiscent of a choose-your-own-adventure book. My winning combination: grilled asparagus, spicy Japanese eggplant, and gluten-free mac 'n' cheese paired with salmon. The wraps can be categorized as the “safest” thing on the menu but the contents are quite tasty; you could opt for the Flying Avocado (smoked turkey, gouda, romaine, tomato, avocado, hummus), but trust us: The Thai Dye (spicy tofu, Thai basil, avocado, carrot, daikon radish, cilantro, snap pea) is phenomenal.
There has been a spat of health-focused restaurant openings in Houston, but what has emerged from all of these places is thoughtfulness in menu and presentation. Flower Child is inviting and lovely, with good food for all. No matter your dining preferences, you'll find something that suits your interests here.