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Clearwater's Wildflower Cafe Gives Us Fresh, Seasonal Dishes in an Engaging Environment

By Kelly Church

Since late 2000, Clearwater, FL's locally owned Wildflower Café has been giving the community freshly made food in an "open air environment," something that is very important to owners Leslie Alfred and Joan Dragon. As part of their restaurant, they opened a market, an area for customers to purchase grab-and-go food and beverages, including soups, salads, sandwiches, quiche and tea. The menu, both in the market and the restaurant, are fresh, with Dragon herself as the chef.

"Everything on the menu is popular, [it] all depends on what you are yearning for that day," Dragon says. "Eggs and cheesy grits in the morning are beyond compare. Our signature sandwiches and salads at lunch are a delight. [Recently,] we ran a fresh garden pea soup garnished with green pea tendrils and julienne honey ham- what could be better?"

Breakfast specialties include the Wildflower Triple, a combination of scrambled eggs, bacon and Belgian-style malted waffles; the Decidedly Deep Dish Quiche served with fresh fruit; Wildflower Baked French Toast served with Wildflower Café's homemade brown sugar syrup, toasted pecans and fresh whipped cream on top; and the Wildflower Signature Scrambled, scrambled eggs with fresh parsley, bacon or sausage and a buttermilk biscuit served with Wildflower's own honey butter.

For later in the day, the Wildflower Café's sandwich menu includes a variety of options to suite any taste. For those looking for a garden-fresh tasting sandwich, the Honey Chicken Salad Croissant is served on a butter croissant with lettuce and a fresh tomato. The Island Breeze Turkey sandwich has provolone, mango chutney, toasted pecans, golden raisins, shredded carrots, lettuce and curry mayo on wheat bread.

The Santa Fe gives a little bit of a southwestern flair to the menu, with turkey, pepper jack cheese, bacon, tomato, a tropical fruit salad and garden greens inside of a sundried tomato tortilla. Guests can also choose from a selection of salads, soup or quiches if sandwiches aren't satisfying their hunger pangs.

"Important to us is superb quality and freshness of all ingredients used, [we] will source locally if possible, but that is not always easy," Dragon says. "We did want to create a friendly environment where our 'family' of patrons can get away for some quiet moments and nourishment during their sometimes chaotic days."

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