Exclusive first look: Everything you need to know about Flower Child, opening Tuesday
By now, you’ve heard all about the free yoga mat parking and the vegan-friendly menu at South End’s newest restaurant, Flower Child. But there’s more, including a dog-friendly patio with a fireplace, Instagrammable details everywhere (look for the bright yellow coo-coo clock near the back door), and a rose wallpaper corner that may inspire nostalgia of visiting a favorite relative.
The restaurant, which opens on Tuesday, has transformed the former Phat Burrito spot at 1537 Camden Road. If you ever frequented Phat Burrito, with its rich red walls and salsa bar tucked in the back corner, you may be surprised when you walk in the door.
Flower Child is bright, with white walls and kitschy decor. Natural light streams in from floor-to-ceiling windows.
In one corner, a paint-dripped mural proclaims there is “Happiness around every corner.”
In another, a colorful variety of iced drinks are displayed against a yellow and white chevron-tiled wall. Help yourself to tea — passionfruit black or Japanese mango Sencha green; or lemonade — rose petal or cranberry pomegranate. Kombucha, hot tea and cold-brew coffee are offered, as well as fresh-made sangria and local beer from Unknown Brewing and NoDa Brewery. Make it a shandy: add lemonade for 50 cents.
An open kitchen invites you to enjoy the bustle. Take note of the baskets of brightly colored fruits, shelves of wooden salad bowls, vertical striped aprons.
The patio is flanked by booths and filled with colorful chairs and yellow umbrellas. Dog water bowls are nestled under whitewashed metal planter boxes.
Fittingly, fresh flowers are everywhere.
Flower Child originated in Phoenix in 2014, and the restaurant now has 22 locations in seven states and D.C.
Customizable, quick meal
Order online, using the app (coming in September), or at the counter when you arrive. Your house-made, scratch-made food will be ready in 8-10 minutes. “Even if you’re low on time, you don’t have to have your dinner scooped out of a bin,” said Jessica Mulroy, regional manager.
The plant-forward, gluten-light menu is intended to be fully customizable. The majority of the salads, bowls, entrees and wraps start out vegan or vegetarian. But meat-eaters, don’t tune out yet: after you select your dish, then you pick your protein: chicken, steak, salmon, shrimp or tofu.
The menu also caters to other special diets, including paleo and gluten-free. “My husband can get steak and potatoes, my kids can get gluten-free mac and cheese and I can get a Glow Bowl,” said Rebecca Dye, marketing director. “My husband can get beer, and I can get wine — it’s the only place I can feed all of us.”
Here are some menu items to try on your first few visits:
1. Avocado Hummus
Sweet corn, radish, clementine and pumpkin seed. $8.
2. Tomato Toast
Goat cheese, pistachio pesto, sea salt. $8
3. Mother Earth Bowl
Ancient grains, sweet potato, portobello mushroom, avocado, cucumber, pistachio pesto, charred onion, leafy greens, red pepper miso vinaigrette, hemp seed. $10.95
4. Vietnamese Crunch Salad
Savoy cabbage, romaine, quinoa, tomato, peppadew, pineapple, avocado, cashew, Thai basil, cilantro, mint, spicy lemongrass vinaigrette. $9.95
5. Spicy Coconut Curry
Grilled pineapple, bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, yellow onion, Thai herbs, organic brown rice. $10.75. Seasonal dish.
Add protein to any of these:
Steak (served medium) $4.95
Limited street parking is available, so consider arriving via light rail, bike or scooter.
1537 Camden Road
Open daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
This article originally appeared in CharlotteFive.