Utah now joins the list of states that the Freebirds World Burrito restaurant chain calls home. The California-based chain serves Mission-style burritos in a build-your-own, cafeteria-style format with an easy-going, hippie vibe. A new location in Taylorsville opens today, October 7, soon to be followed by West Valley City, Draper and Park City, for starters. Ten locations will eventually open around Utah, including St. George, over the next year.
Freebirds World Burrito started in Santa Barbara, California in 1987 by Mark Orfalea, who named the restaurant in honor of his Lynard Skynard-loving, motorcycle-riding father. Within a few years a sister restaurant was opened in Texas and today there are more than 96 locations in Texas, Oklahoma, California, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri and now Utah.
Freebirds specializes in Mission-style burritos, named after the Mission District of San Francisco, a style of burrito known for its large size that includes extra rice and lots of ingredients, all wrapped in aluminum foil. The customizable format of Freebirds allows diners to chose everything from the size of burrito to everything that goes in it, from the type of meat (beef, steak, pork, chicken or veggie), tortilla (spinach, flour, cayenne or wheat), type of rice (cilantro lime or Spanish), beans (refried, pinto or black), and a variety of vegetables and sauces.
Burrito prices vary depending on size, which range from small to a massive, 7-pounder. There’s also a burrito bowl option, which is the burrito sans tortilla. Build-your-own tacos, nachos and salads are also available. Desserts include “pot brownies” (delicious chocolate brownies without any actual pot) and cookies. All of the produce is fresh and everything else made in-house daily, including the desserts.
I was invited to a special sneak peak of the new Taylorsville location last week to give the burritos a try. I ordered a regular-sized “Freebirds” burrito on a cayenne tortilla, packed full of steak, cilantro-lime rice, lettuce, white onions, salsa, fresh avocados and, my favorite Freebirds addition, roasted onions and green/red peppers. I added chips and salsa on the side with a deliciously chocolatey pot brownie.
One of the best things about Freebirds is the donation program, called Freebirds World Works. Each Freebirds location has two local charities that it sponsors by spreading awareness, staff volunteer programs and donation events. The Taylorsville location supports the Ronald McDonald House and Intermountain Therapy Animals. It’s always nice to support a place that supports your local community.
Go to Freebirds World Burrito for :: a quick, fresh meal that supports the local community. Notes :: Freebirds has a fast food feel to it, although it’s comfortable enough to enjoy a meal there. Follow @Freebirds_UT on twitter for updates on the local locations or the national Freebirds Facebook page for all updates.