How does gourmet sandwiches, salads, pasta and more at fast food bistro prices sound to you? I almost missed this amazing restaurant because my preference while in Flagstaff, Arizona was to eat at “locally owned” restaurants. For those familiar with Panera Bread Company, I assumed Wildflower was just another upscale kind of fast food bistro chain. However, as Providence would have it,  Alan and I ended up at Wildflower Bread Company one late afternoon for lunch and blogging and all I can say is “Outstanding!”

Was I wrong about this being just another fast food bistro. First of all, from what I can tell from their website they are locally owned as in they are based in Arizona and as of now appear to only have locales in Arizona. Secondly, their food was amazing. With so many really unique and delicious sounding menu items I went for the “Wildflower Two” option where you can select half a gourmet sandwich with a small soup or salad. Preferring vegetarian or vegan cuisine I chose the  Roasted Sweet Potato sandwich with fig confit and the Wildflower Salad for $7.49. Alan selected the hot Portobello Picnic sandwich which hosts roasted portobello, eggplant and zucchini and more between toasted rye to create an absolutely delicious combination of flavors.

The Wildflower Salad is worth its own separate review. All I can do is rave about this salad. Fresh greens; unusual add in’s like jicama, sunflower seeds and dried lavender; along with standard salad veggies like carrots, tomatoes, and red onion; all this tossed in Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette. Usually when I forget to ask for “dressing on the side” in a place like this the salad is smothered in the dressing which overpowers all the fresh veggie flavors. Not at Wildflower. Apparently they have trained their prep staff well – the salad was perfectly balanced between all the flavors and the lavender flowers were the icing on the cake so to speak.

OK, I could go on and on about this place and can only say, Panera Bread Company you better get your act together because if Wildflower comes to the East Coast you’re in big trouble. A few more kudos for Wildflower — It was clean (even the bathrooms); great, friendly and fast service; and the decor and overall atmosphere complete with indoor and outdoor fireplaces makes it feel cozy and comfortable – like a place you want to meet with your friends.

I don’t know how they manage to perform on this level and just to be sure it was not a fluke we went back again the following evening. They were busy and once again they delivered in every way. The big bonus for us is that not only do they have free wi fi, their designer planned that every booth and table be equipped with at least one electrical outlet. As bloggers we are constantly looking for “the” table that has “the” outlet.

At Wildflower it seems they have thought of everything. They are also all about community support and charitable giving. Seems like Wildflower Bread Company really does care – about food quality, service, atmosphere and community. Doesn’t get much better than that.


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