Flower Child

I was never into the whole hippy thing but at the Flower Child, I'm learning to love it.

QSR's (quick-serve restaurants) have grown in popularity in recent years and many are going after the upscale diner who insists on fresh, chef-driven gourmet creations and is willing to spend to get them consistently. Flower Child is a national chain that just opened 3 outposts here in the ATL (Westside, Lenox and Sandy Springs). They make every molecule they serve from scratch ("no freezers!" the GM told me), and serve healthy food that purports to teleport you to a "happy place." But before your cynicism harshes the mellow, just know this isn't health food that tastes like cardboard. This is food that everyone will like whether you are vegetarian, vegan, paleo, or just an unrelenting glutton like me. While Flower Child can do sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free, everything I tried was guilt-free, super-flavorful and belly-filling.

Noshes like avocado hummus and salads like the turkey and avocado Cobb salad and bowls like the "Forbidden Rice," teriyaki shrimp and the glow bowl made with sweet potato noodles were hearty and uber-fresh. And you can add protein to anything like chicken, steak or salmon so, again, it's not a dessert for meat-eaters. Sides include yuzu Brussels sprouts, red chili-glazed sweet potatoes and sweet corn and quinoa. Yes, it's a menu for foodies but you can enjoy it even if you can't properly pronounce quinoa.

The motif feels like a modern, bougie French bistro awash in cute, happy sayings written on little signs everywhere. It's clean, fun and if you can grab a seat outside enjoy the fresh air and devour the tasty morsels. I typically repell the whole manufactured bougie/hippy thing but even my cynical side craves this concept. So don't resist the good vibes, let your freak flag fly and go full-hippy at Flower Child.

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Let me know your favorite places to dine and dash off to. I am always looking for inspiration!

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