Monthly Archives: November 2015

Steppin’ Out – Freebirds World Burrito, Folsom

Freebirds_World_BurritoWell, this restaurant visit was a real adventure. I think we drove around inside the Palladio Shopping Center in Folsom for at least a half hour before finding the Freebirds restaurant. The problem is simple, they show the address as 310 Palladio Parkway, but it is really on Via Felice.

We found that the easiest way to get there from Highway 50 is to take East Bidwell Street to Via Felice (first signal beyond Iron Point), turn left into the Palladio Center and it is there on your right, next to Chicago Fire Pizza and across the street from AT&T. Immediately beyond it, turn right into the covered parking, park and walk back.

Freebirds is relatively new to the Sacramento area, with restaurants in Roseville, Elk Grove, Natomas and Folsom. They also have a number of restaurants in southern California, along with several in Texas, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Utah and more.

After our tour of the Palladio Center, Salazar and I finally made it around noon a few weeks ago and checked out the place and the menu.
It is a beautiful restaurant with long high tables and separate lower tables for two or four. The whole place is uniquely painted and decorated, and hanging from the ceiling is a Harley with the Statue of Liberty riding it. It is made to look like it came through the wall.

We decided to try two of their burritos and stepped up to the counter to have them made by the two gentlemen standing there (sort of like at Chipotle).

The first one was on a flour tortilla with carnitas (pork), pinto beans, guacamole, onions, jack cheese and one of the house salsas (pico de gallo). Our second one was on a wheat tortilla, with spicy dark meat chicken (really good), black beans, cilantro-lime rice, lime juice, corn, jack cheese, grilled veggies and a different house salsa made with tomatillos.

The burritos were wrapped in foil, so we asked for them to be cut in two, so we could share them.

We took our burritos over to the cashier, picked up a couple of soda cups and paid for everything, before finding a seat at the higher group table.

Cutting the burritos in two made them easy to eat because they were served on end, side by side making it possible to use a fork to eat them out of the tortilla.

Russ especially liked that because he doesn’t really like the tortilla part of the burrito unless it is put back into the grill and toasted after being made (he has since discovered the burrito in a bowl that many taquerias now serve).

They were both very good, especially the one with spicy dark meat chicken. Russ, who is not really a chicken fan mentioned a couple of times how good it was.

Freebirds serves three sizes of burritos: Hybird, Freebird and Monster. You and have them with grass-fed steak, slow-roasted pork carnitas, all-natural grilled chicken (breast or spicy dark meat) and vegetarian.

The have several types of tortillas to select from, two kinds of rice, three kinds of beans, two cheeses, six different sauces, – including a “death sauce” – lots of toppings and three different dressings to add to your burrito.

Other items on the menu include a burrito bowl, quesadilla, nachos, a Freedom salad (I forgot to ask why), soft taco, lite chicken bowl, BBQ classic burrito (that must be a Texas influence), the spicy chicken burrito and a kid’s burrito or quesadilla.

The add ons include guacamole, bacon and queso (I have never seen bacon at a Mexican restaurant before, nor BBQ sauce). You can also get chips with salsa, queso or guacamole, drinks and desserts.

I sampled all of their different salsas from their salsa bar and they were all good, even the BBQ one, and especially the hot ones.

The Folsom Freebirds is open Sunday-Thursday from 10:30 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.
If you need more information (or get lost looking for the restaurant) their phone number is (916) 984-6972. Save that number because they also do catering for events and parties.

Steppin’ Out – Denny’s Diner

dennys-up-to-30-value-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-3953352-regularA few weeks ago I received a coupon that was good for $5 off a $15 purchase at Denny’s. It also had a picture of their new Spicy Sriracha Burger, which is just one of several new burgers and sandwiches.

Well, you know me, spicy is my middle name, so I called my friend Russ. I told him we had to try that burger and maybe one of the others, like their Bourbon Bacon Burger.

We stopped by the Denny’s at 99 Fair Lane in Placerville around 1 p.m. a couple of weeks ago. We were nicely greeted and shown to a booth.
Our server showed up almost immediately and asked us if we know what we wanted. We weren’t ready, so we took a few minutes to go over the menu. We knew we were going to try the Spicy Sriracha Burger, so I asked Russ if there was another sandwich that he thought we should try. His answer was interesting.

He is not really a fish eater, but he said their Grilled Tilapia on the Senior (55+) Menu is really good, and I should try that.
We ordered our burger with their wavy cut fries and the Tilapia with broccoli as the vegetable (there were a number of vegetable choices).

The burger is a Sriracha seasoned, hand-pressed 100% beef patty topped with Cheddar cheese, bacon, jalapeños, creamy Sriracha sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onions and pickles. I have to tell you immediately, it is not for everyone.

When the food arrive, I first tried the wavy cut fries. The were hot, crispy and very good. I ended up dipping them in the tartar sauce that came with the fish, but that’s me.

We both agreed the burger was delicious and spicy, very spicy. The layer of sliced jalapeño peppers adds a bit of a nip with each bite which really added to it. The Sriracha sauce took over from there.

Russ liked the texture of the meat in the burger. “It tastes like they use a coarser grind,” he said. I think he may be right. I know it is hand formed, so it would have a different texture and not be one of those “hockey puck” burger patties.

Russ also added that having half of the burger was just about the right amount. I probably could have eaten a whole one, but on these tasting adventures we often eat too much,

Russ was right about the fish. It was very good, but unlike him I am a fan of fish, although Tilapia is not really high on my list.
It came with a colorful and very tasty mixture of brown rice, red jasmine rice and black barley (wasn’t he a pirate?).

The fish itself was flaky and tender and had a nice mild taste. Being one of the many items on the senior menu, it was reasonably priced. What else can you ask for?

The menu at Denny’s is almost identical all across the nation. Sure, there are a few local changes, but if you stop at a Denny’s you know what choices you will have.

Their menu is seasonal and now and then they throw in things like their $2,$4,$6,$8 special dishes or their famous Grand Slams. As I mentioned, it was their new burgers (and the coupons) that really enticed us to go there this time.

I was really pleased with the variety of items on the 55+ menu. Like many people, I often eat too much when I go out to eat. This menu has smaller servings.

I don’t go to Denny’s but maybe once or twice a year, and usually for breakfast and I have always enjoyed the food, except how do they slice bacon that thin?

Interestingly, when I told several of my friends that we had tried Denny’s, a couple asked “Why?’ and then told me about a bad experience they had once, or twice. If I have a really bad experience, I simply don’t write about it. However, it is often not with the food, but the service.
If you do have a bad experience at a restaurant, tell them. They need to know.

Denny’s is open 24 hours a day, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner at all hours.

For more information on the food or anything else at the Fair Lane Denny’s, give them a call at (530) 626-1086.

By the way, they have a nice banquet room that used to be their bar.