***UPDATE: Flower Wraps is now CLOSED.***

& thus just 1 more well-timed reminder that we’re all lazy, smug creatures of habit. Morning, slugs!
I’m with you, with the exception of right now. Right now I’m here,
surrounded on all sides by flowers silk & real, adorable bric-a-brac—cookbooks & notecards, candles & soaps, decorative pillows & picnic baskets—& morning sunlight from the full-length windows. On the sound system is Les Negresses Vertes—a terrific French pop group from the late 1980s I’d forgotten all about until this moment. In my hand is a cute cute cute cup of coffee shaped like a flowerpot.
Meanwhile, everyone else in Platt Park is jockeying for outlet position & yelling into their cells over at Stella’s. It’s like the stock-market floor over there sometimes, only the brokers are coeds cramming for exams instead of buying & selling up a storm, which would at least make for quality eavesdropping.

But Flower Wraps Café & Urban Market is empty.
The guy behind the counter—who doesn’t appear to be co-owner (along with wife Carolyn Kinsella) Val Erpelding, a chef & ice sculptor according to the website—tells me it’s due primarily to the lack of parking (see: lazy), secondarily to the likely misconception that the place is just a flower shop (see: smug creatures of habit). In fact, they serve goodies aplenty—the usual baked goods for breakfast (as well as the less-usual-sounding “trail-mix wrap” with peanut butter, honey, yogurt & sundried cherries); salads & sandwiches for lunch; a limited menu of “twilite” nibbles alongside a selection of wines by the glass or bottle that’s actually pretty good-sized for what’s essentially a coffeehouse—10 or so; & stuffed French toast, quiche & the like for weekend brunch. For snacking, there’s cereal in mini-boxes & treats like apricot-cherry-raisin white-chocolate bark.

Apparently Erpelding & Kinsella also run the brand-new but already bustling Breakfast on Broadway in Englewood; if they do it with half as much quirky charm as they do this place (& the presence on the menu of everything from “risotto-style” oatmeal with candied pecans to a Benedict of the day to liver & onions suggests they do), I’m there.