Food Corner: Flower Child makes dieting delicious

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When the Trader Joe’s on Darnestown Road opened up this past fall, the plaza’s parking lot situation became a nightmare. People were not just buzzing over the new grocery store, though. Many were eager to grab a bite at Flower Child, a healthy food restaurant located in the same strip mall.

Even as the weather outside becomes chillier, the decor remains warm, welcoming and vibrant with spring energy. The restaurant sports its mantra, “healthy food for a happy world”, right underneath its name in green. A string of fairy lights gives the outside a soft, warm glow, and the inside emanates that same spirit. All of the furniture, from the wicker chairs to the miniature vases with real plants, give the interior a comfortable rustic vibe.

The wholesome design of the restaurant pairs well with the food. Every dish is made from scratch using farm-fresh ingredients. The dishes caters to a wide range of dietary restrictions, so there is something for practically everyone. Flower Child offers starters, salads, bowls, wraps, small plates such as yuzu brussel sprouts and Indian spiced cauliflower.

It may be difficult to choose from the numerous appetizing and healthy dishes on the menu. Senior Addie Carr, who works at Flower Child, is a good person to consult for recommendations. “I do pretty much everything on the job but cook,” Carr said. “I serve food, clean up food, help people order it, answer phones and much more. My top three choices would be the ‘forbidden’ rice bowl with shaved chicken, anything that has our sweet potatoes in it, and our chocolate chip cookies.”

The “forbidden” rice bowl is visually striking since its base consists of black pearl rice and red japonica rice. The vegetables in the dish, which include snap pea and bok choy, give it pops of color and brightness. It tastes as good as it looks, and the warm grains make the Asian inspired dish filling and satisfying. As with Flower Child’s other menu items, proteins like chicken may be added for an extra cost.

Another employee, Kahlea Sands, a senior at nearby Wootton High School, has her own advice for the indecisive. “The Mother Earth bowl is definitely the most popular bowl, but honestly, with the menu you can just close your eyes and point,” Sands said. “As long as you don’t have an allergy, whatever you pick you’re going to love.”

There is an equally diverse selection of drinks, especially health-oriented ones like kombucha, a wildly popular fermented drink which is filled on tap. “I don’t recommend the tea unless you like unsweetened tea, but at the same time, I recommend it because it tastes good, it smells good, and it’s good for you! I always recommend the rose petal lemonade because it’s the base of all our lemonades, but if you really want to try something different, definitely try the daily lemonade since we switch that out a lot,” Sands said.

At Flower Child, all groups of people, regardless of age, can find something to enjoy. “Sometimes you’ll see toddlers eating kids’ meals, sometimes you’ll see retired people come and eat, and some people just sit here and read, and it’s really nice. You’ll see a bunch of people from different backgrounds, which is fun,” Sands said. The restaurant is inviting to everyone, and the delicious aromas and artsy decor beckon all to enter.