Lunch Be a Lady: Exploring the Arcadia Lunch Scene

Categories: Cafe Review

market44.jpg
Jackie Mercandetti
Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna Nicoise Salad, asparagus soup, and charcuterie from The Market by Jennifer's.
If you're lucky enough to lounge during lunch like a modern-day Oscar Wilde character, you have plenty of options. Arcadia has expanded its lunch game in the past year with more and more places that cater to the upper-crust, midday meal crowd. Chestnut, Flower Child, and The Market by Jennifer's are three recent additions to the scene.

Each caters to the persnickety demands of the clientele it seeks to win over with gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, and other dietary options clearly labeled so that no one has to wonder -- though customers tend to loudly ask anyway. The restaurants also gravitate toward a vintage and quaint yet chic aesthetic that says, "I take myself and my lunch seriously."

If you're willing to drop a 20-spot or more on lunch, you're welcome to navigate the highs and lows of this rapidly increasing East Phoenix neighborhood's offerings. While Flower Child and Chestnut suffer from identity issues, The Market by Jennifer's goes for a more comforting culinary approach, resulting in less healthy but more interesting fare.

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First, on the northeast corner of 44th Street and Camelback Road, you'll find Sam Fox's newest venture, Flower Child. The health-focused concept is bright and white, an ivy-laced, country-chic spot that looks, smells, and feels healthy the moment you walk through the door. It's only fair to warn you that the menu here is huge and a little confusing, which becomes evident as customers pool around the entryway staring at copies of the menu and trying to figure out what's going on before they approach the counter to order.

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Lauren Saria
Flower Child's kombucha tap.
With half-baked fusion options like a nearly flavorless tofu and mushroom pho, it's clear that Flower Child is confused, too. However, if you stay away from the parts of the menu that cater to the foodie crowd, there are some legitimately flavorful low-cal options. Plus, the staff is proactive and friendly, obviously aware that trying to make a decision after studying the menu -- which is like a flow chart that doesn't flow -- is no easy task.

If you're going for salad, the buckwheat noodle and quinoa salads use gluten-free grains in conjunction with healthy doses of veggies to fill you up. For wraps, you really can't go wrong with whatever you choose because each is wrapped in a soft but substantial chia and flaxseed whole wheat tortilla. I liked the Flying Avocado, with smoked Gouda and grilled chicken.

Even if you're health-conscious, you'll want to try the lemon olive oil cake -- so good that it alone is worth the trip. The sweet, tart, and moist cake will have you sold on the place before anything else. And, yes, Flower Child has kombucha on draft, a trend that's already taken hold in cities like Austin but is just now making its way to Phoenix . Does kombucha need to be on draft to be good? No. Is it gimmicky? Sure. Do I like it? Yes.

Location Info

Flower Child

5013 N. 44th Street, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Chestnut Fine Foods and Provisions

4350 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

The Market by Jennifer’s

3603 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant


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10 comments
valueourveterans
valueourveterans

I completely agree with your reviewer's comments about Chestnut Lane. My friends and I will NEVER go back there either. The food was terrible and it was very noisy making it difficult to carry on a conversation with my dining companions. 

There are far too many worthwhile restaurant choices in the Arcadia area to bother with the lackluster food at Chestnut Lane.

Can't wait to try Jennifer's!

Betsy Steele
Betsy Steele

Yes!!!!! Www.themarketbyjennifers.com = well worth the $20... Delish! Can't wait to try the others!

ashtowncg
ashtowncg

I'm confused as to why you would open this article by ridiculing the patrons of these establishments when your intended audience is people who might want to check these places out...

Sophia
Sophia

Chestnut, unfortunately, doesn't serve Cartel coffee anymore. Sad.

Cody Codes
Cody Codes

These are all with in a mile or so of my house and I agree. The quinoa salad from Flower child is AMAZE! I really like the Chestnut for breakfast. The oatmeal with creme fraiche is super delicious! The Arcadia area is such a great location for food options!

Jukes
Jukes

Why would I want to eat in a restaurant that's "confused" and "gimmicky"?

chestnutaz
chestnutaz

@valueourveterans I apologize that I am just seeing this article in addition to your comment.  We at Chestnut live by the  motto #livelearngrow and being a first venture for a local family we are constantly looking to please our guests and make sure that we can make changes to make them happy.  I do apologize that you didn't enjoy our food - some items don't appeal to certain people and I do understand that, we are adding new items to the menu.  If at any point someone approaches us about the volume of the music we are happy to turn it down and we have made a mental note to keep it at a lower level on a daily basis.  If you'd like to try us again we'd love to have you.  Please e-mail me at eat@chestnutaz.com I'd love to discuss further.


Warmest, 


Kirsten


chestnutaz
chestnutaz

@Sophia I'm sorry for the delay in this response.  You are correct in stating that we no longer serve Cartel coffee.  However we are currently serving Matador Coffee.  They are also a local organic coffee roaster as we are adamant about supporting other local business as we are a locally owned business ourselves.  We do hope you would come and try our coffee again.  Have a wonderful day. 


Kirsten

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