New local restaurant impresses with healthy food options


Julia Lescht

Pictured are the Vietnamese Crunch Salad (butter lettuce substituted for romaine), the Organic Kale Salad with Tofu and a plate with brussel sprouts, cauliflower and Japanese eggplant.

By Julia Lescht, Online Editor-In-Chief

The bright green entrance way leads to a spacious room enclosed with white walls, covered in images of colorful flowers, various cheerful, earthy paintings and other subtle pops of vibrant colors. Inside, the vibe, reminiscent of the sweetest summer day, makes you forget about the cold weather.

Nestled in the corner of Travilah shopping center, the fast-casual ‘fresh from scratch’ eatery Flower Child focuses on serving health conscious, flavor-filled meals for all types of diets or limitations. They currently have locations in seven states, with more than three new stores on the way—three of which are local. One will be in Washington D.C., the other in Tysons Corner, Va. and the third in Bethesda’s Wildwood Shopping Center.

In addition to the exuberant decor, right beside the doorway sits a basket designated for “Yoga Mat Parking,” and to the right of that is a station for fresh produce flavored water. Before the guest even orders, this restaurant makes clear its goal to foster a positive, zen atmosphere. Even though the restaurant was busy while I was there, the amount of space between each table maintains an environment conducive to conversation.

“I have been waiting for a healthy restaurant like Flower Child to open up in my area for a while,” senior Kamryn Testa said. “I have gone to Flower Child pretty much every week since it opened.”

The large menu offers a wide array of obviously health conscious options—and the outcome does not disappoint. The “Vietnamese Crunch” salad, with butter lettuce instead of romaine, was sweet, crunchy, tangy and full of flavor. All the more, the kids’ menu excludes the stereotypical plain pasta or chicken nuggets, and instead offers a choice of proteins accompanied with two vegetable, fruit or grain-based sides.

“Every time I go, I always try to get something different,” Testa said. “All of the employees are really nice and always help with questions about the menu.”

One thing high schoolers often take into consideration upon ranking restaurants is the price. The usually higher price points of “healthy” food options deter many from regularly eating at such places. For example, the much-closer-to-WCHS Le Pain Quotidien, which possesses a somewhat similar concept, appears to charge substantially more for similar food items. Avocado toast at Flower Child costs $7.50, while Le Pain Quotidien charges about $12. This difference is substantial.

This place sounds all too perfect. So, the catch? Location. While it is located near the WCHS district, it resides on the border between WCHS and Wootton, closer to the Wootton side. The restaurant is about a 15 minute drive from WCHS. This makes it a nearly impossible lunch location, and there are several other options that are closer.

All in all, the restaurant is worth returning to, as its atmosphere and food quality are exceptional. The diverse range of choices and combinations ensure that one will never get tired of eating there and that it will be a winner for people of all ages and taste buds. WCHS should look forward to the second MCPS location in Bethesda, which will thankfully be opening soon.