After a particularly dull (if I’m being nice) meal at a Houston institution, I’m warming like the weather to one of Houston’s newer, healthier dining options.
Let me get the bad out of the way. Before trying to curate three different health-related diets into one I can manage, I decided to splurge on a burger. (As if I’ve never done that before!)
Several years back Lankford’s Grocery was the king of Houston burgers. Their giant, thick burgers were the stuff of legend. I recall the glory of one being placed before me and it being so over-the-moon delicious that I swooned with glee.
Those days are gone. My Spring 2022 Lankford’s burger was a hastily assembled mess, with neither the flavor nor the juiciness I had expected. Cooked well beyond my preferred medium-rare, it was a chore, not a joy, to bite into. Onion rings were bland, though Fried Pickles were not. They were so spicy I couldn’t eat them.
Together with an apathetic staff and near-empty dining room, Lankford’s is a place best left in the past. Though perhaps fitting as I bid sayonara to red meat.
Thank my dining stars, then, for Flower Child, a new healthy cooking chain that’s going gangbusters in this town. This is a place at which my diet will let me order just about anything on the menu.
I’ve visited the Heights location on North Shepherd twice, both times with a friend. The first time, my companion and I both ordered the Chicken Enchilada bowl with guajillo chiles, smoked Gouda cheese, poblano crema, organic black beans, roasted corn, and avocado.
Just imagine all those flavors mingling together in a generous milieu of modern Tex-Mex. Rich, creamy, and yet so good for you, these enchiladas were sublime. I’ve vowed to order them many more times on future visits.
Flower Child does offer a selection of local beers and wines, though their nonalcoholic options are intriguing. Instead of beer on tap, it’s Kombucha! And some nicely flavored teas and lemonades are on offer at a self-serve station. Just don’t expect to find artificial sweeteners.
On my next visit, salads were the order of the day. My friend chose the Turkey & Avocado Cobb, featuring romaine lettuce, arugula, red cabbage, and avocado. Laced with tomato, cucumber, crunchy corn, pickled onion, smoked almonds, and dressed in a gorgonzola vinaigrette, Mr. Doggie Bag ate the whole thing!
My choice was simpler, an Avocado Caesar with shredded chicken breast. Parmesan breadcrumbs, chives, and romaine in an avocado Caesar dressing made this an unusual but alluring take on a classic. I savored every bite.
Unique side dishes are also available, including Cauliflower “Risotto,” Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese, and BBQ Heirloom Carrots. Barbecued carrots? Those I must try!
Most menu items are available in family-size portions, so you can share the goodness of Flower Child. And while the menu doesn’t list desserts, Flower Child bakes a gluten-free Oatmeal Raisin (or Chocolate Chip) that will blow your mind. Leave room!
1533 North Shepherd
Houston, TX 77008
88 Dennis Street
Houston, TX 77006