To anyone who lived in the era of the 90’s, Houston’s “it” area was Shepherd Square. From the Ballroom, to McElroys, to Live Bait/World Bait, Strychnine, etc. it was where you went to be seen. And it all started at a place called 8.0, of all things. It was a classy little joint that brought all of the residents inside the inner loop and away from the Richmond/Westheimer strip that had been the mainstay for years before. I always had a fondness for the area; even when it fell out of favor to the gradual trendiness of Houston’s fickle crowd that moved on to downtown/midtown/Washington/etc. The place seemed to always keep just enough of a hip factor to where you could still swing by Davenport or McElroy’s and not feel like you were living in the past.
The old 8.0 location, however, remained vacant for a good period of time, and when it was finally leased, it was to a new “big burrito” place. I remember passing by it on a regular basis and giving it an apathetic shrug of the shoulders. As far as I was concerned, Houston needed a new big burrito place like we needed another breeding ground for mosquitos…
I now have to admit I was wrong.
The burrito place is Freebirds World Burrito. While I can’t say I’ve actually had their lunch burrito yet, I can wholeheartedly say that I plan on trying it. Soon.
My task this past week was to try out Freebirds’ new concept on brunch. It is currently only available at the Freebirds location on Shepherd, but they are tinkering with the idea of expanding it to their other locations. I highly suggest they do so.
The first thing I have to complement them on is that everything they have there is fresh. And by fresh, I mean eggs in shells, vegetables cut fresh from the cooler, salsa made from yesterday’s fresh pico. It really is something you just don’t see anymore, and it is refreshing. The GM, Robert, let me know that they didn’t even house a freezer, and you could tell the difference.
On to the breakfast items! Both the breakfast burrito and the taco plate (3 to an order) are around $5 bucks. An absolute steal for a place that houses live music during their brunch hours (11-4 Sat-Sun.) While the breakfast burrito is good, I found my patrons too tempted to add on and on and on to their platters (main reason I’m typically not a huge fan of the burrito places) and the end result was too diluted to truly achieve greatness. There are simply times where less is more, and I highly advise going with the person behind the counter’s recommendation. They are taught which things mesh well.
I’m a much bigger fan of the three taco plate. Get the breakfast taco with hash browns, bacon, and pico. Trust me. And their bacon? I’m not one of those weird folk that thinks bacon tastes better on everything. I even have a review decrying this. But the bacon here is simply phenomenal. Without question, it is something you at least have to try. I’ll stand behind that.
Speaking of which, the only thing that isn’t made in-house is the barbeque sauce. Legend (or fact; I never research) has it that the original owner loved his sauce so much that he still refuses to let the recipe out and, instead, makes it at home and ships it to all locations. Quirky, but yet another reason to love the place.
But the best part about this place? Brunch is from 11-4 on Saturday AND Sunday. Drink prices are as follows: Margarita: $2. Mimosa: $2. Beer: $2. Bloody Mary: $2. Noticing a trend? Even their “bottomless” Mimosas are only $8. We are honestly talking about a place where you can have a fresh, healthy breakfast and/or have a smashing good Sunday Funday for under 20 bucks. Seriously.
I will fully concede that I came here initially because I was asked to do a review on the place. I’m always good with “free” so I was happy to do so. However, I neglected to take some food pics (and, yes, my pic taking is attrocious, but still) so I went back on my own bill yesterday. This morning an old friend of mine wanted to grab a bite before the Texan’s game. My suggestion? Freebirds on Shepherd.
Three times at a place in 2 weeks? Yeah. This place is definitely worth trying out. And if nothing else sinks in remember one thing: TRY THE BACON