If you 1.) are a UC Santa Barbara grad, or 2.) spent any time living in Texas, chances are this will be something to cheer about: Freebirds, the fast-casual burrito chain founded in Isla Vista in 1987, is coming to Orange County.
I really shouldn't start quoting songs here, but that's difficult to resist considering there's a groovy van parked outside its future location at the corner of Tustin and Katella (the former Topz spot) in Orange. The freedom vibe continues on its website, referencing “Libby” as its Q&A gal. I'm almost afraid to ask why another Mexi chain is planting roots on our soil. Freebirds could be glutton for punishment.
Then again, Chipotle has shown there is a market for luxe burritos, and Freebirds does try to differentiate itself from taquerias, with barbecue sauce and something called a “Death Sauce,” seemingly custom-made for Adam Richman's belly. There's a whole-wheat tortilla option; the cooks will pack on the cilantro per request, and it offers both dark and white meat for chicken. Not cool, though: Paying extra for sour cream, and liquid cheese on your nachos that isn't chile con queso, unfortunately. Let's see how our notoriously fickle yet chain-accepting tastebuds will accept them . . . and aren't you glad I didn't mention Lynard Skynard until now?
Freebirds World Burrito, corner of Tustin and Katella (seriously: that's the only address it has right now), Orange; www.freebirds.com.