The Harbinger Online

Freebirds vs Chipotle

It seems like every week I find myself loading up another fat burrito at Chipotle. Whether it’s for lunch, dinner or even leftovers for breakfast, I just cannot turn down the wonderful wrap. That’s why when I heard of a new burrito restaurant in Johnson County, I was intrigued, to say the least.

When I heard the name “Freebirds” I instantly thought of pigeons flying in the sky, soaring wherever it desires. At Freebirds, the customer has the opportunity of choosing whatever they want on their burrito. This Tex-Mex burrito restaurant located by Johnson Drive and Metcalf offers 32, yes 32, free add-ons to your burrito. From cilantro lime rice to Monterey jack cheese to queso sauce, Freebirds has it all.

Walking into Freebirds I instantly felt a different vibe than the modern Mexican cantina one of Chipotle. A sculpture of the Statue of Liberty riding a Harley Davidson bursts out of the wall and greets you along with the word “Freedom” and other American sayings in rainbow colors cover the walls and give off the feel of a sixties patriotic biker theme.

In contrast to Chipotle, Freebird had multiple Samsung 42” televisions scattered around the restaurant. I felt like I was in my own utopia with my hands gripping a perfectly wrapped burrito and my eyes glued to the Royals game.

One of the most unique aspects about Freebird is the ability to choose however big you want your burrito to be. Instead of Chipotle’s “one size fits all” mentality, Freebirds’ sizes range from Hybrid, Freebirds, Monster to their biggest burrito, the Super Monster.

Being the daredevil that I am, I decided to shock the cashier and order their “Super Monster” burrito. The workers had to whip out their extra large pizza pan and use two 13” tortillas. The obese burrito consisted of over 10 ingredients and ended up being bigger than my forearm. As I made my best attempt to consume this dish I couldn’t help but feel as if I were eating a newborn baby. About three-fourths into the burrito I began to feel the Super Monster set in. Bite by bite, I tried to reach my goal of conquering the baron of burritos. Unfortunately the Super Monster proved too much for me and I had to throw in the towel. I wasn’t sure if it was the extra bacon (yes, they have bacon too) or the fact that it weighed as much as an infant, but one thing was for sure: my belly was busted. Freebird won this time.

After choosing the right sized burrito with all the condiments that you desire you can make your way to the sauce bar which varies from mild, hot, Habanero, “Death Sauce” and their “Bad Ass Barbeque Sauce”. Each sauce contains as much flavor as the restaurant’s design and will spice up any burrito.

All in all, Freebirds is like Chipotle on steroids. There are hundreds of possibilities when it comes to your burrito and if you feel like you could eat a horse, then you can take a shot at the Super Monster. But just like steroids, there are a few defects. It is quite evident that the quality of the ingredients is diminished.

I couldn’t understand how Chipotle’s ingredients tasted so much fresher and better than Freebird so I decided to give both local restaurants a call. Surprisingly, Freebirds’ ingredients are made fresher than Chipotle’s. Freebirds makes all their materials from scratch every day giving their food a homemade taste, opposed to Chipotle who uses bagged ingredients, except for their meat which they cook in their restaurants. Usually, I would go with the home cooked meal but I guess I’ll make an exception and stick with the preservative-based burritos that taste absolutely delicious.

If you’re feeling like stuffing a burrito with literally anything you can think of, then Freebirds is the place to go. But if you are looking the most tasty Mexican wrap in town, just stay with your local Chipotle.

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Alex Goldman

Alex Goldman is the Online editor with Mitch Kaskie, staff writer and Sports page Editor on the Harbinger. He likes sports. Read Full »

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