Sherman's Food Adventures: Birdies Eats & Drinks

Birdies Eats & Drinks

When they announced there would be a new location of Earls at The Amazing Brentwood, it was a forgone conclusion that the one on Lougheed would be closing shortly afterwards.  That it did and they rebranded the location into Birdies (still run by the same company).  They totally redid the outside and interior to reflect its California-inspired cuisine.  The place is now much brighter in terms of lighting as well as the colour-scheme.  I recently made a rez and visited the place with the fam.

One thing is for sure, they really pump the music on loud, so the place has an energetic vibe.  Actually, the Baja Calamari seemed quite energetic with all the colours thanks to some snap peas, cherry tomatoes, avocado and pickled onions.  These were fresh and those tomatoes were quite flavourful.  As for the calamari, we found the pieces to be extremely light and airy.  The batter was crispy and properly-seasoned.  I thought the kale aioli was creamy and pleasant, but I would've preferred something more acidic (even though we did have a lemon wedge too).

Onto one of our favourite dishes, the Yuzu Black Pepper Wings were flavourful and succulent.  Normally, most wings at non-Asian spots are never really all that juicy, but these were.  Furthermore, the balance between pepper and tangy yuzu was spot on as we got a bit of pepperiness while the yuzu helped lighten things up.  Although the skin wasn't totally rendered, it was so flavourful, I didn't mind eating it.

We shared one more item in the Bee Sting Pizza with soppressata, spicy capocollo, fresh basil, red peppers and hot honey.  This was pretty good with a thin crust that was uniformly crispy throughout.  There was a low rumble of spice that lingered a bit at the end.  The drizzle of honey helped balance things off while the peppers and tomato offered up tang and sweetness.  I did wish there was more meat on the pizza though.

For her main, my daughter decided on the Saffron Spaghettini with a light cream sauce, prawns, grana padano and fresh basil.  We thought this was solid with firmly al dente pasta and buttery prawns that had a sweet snap texture.  As for the sauce, it was definitely creamy and had a noticeable amount of saffron.  Hence it was aromatic and appealing.  However, there could've been a bit more of it since the dish ate a bit dry.  Also, the basil should've been in smaller strands, not big leaves.

My son wasn't into anything on the rest of the menu, so he went for an appie for his main in the Crispy Birria Tacos.  As with any birria tacos, the tortilla was dipped into the braised short rib liquid and fat, then cooked on the flattop.  They also added cheddar on the outside and seared it up until it was crispy.  Hence this ate quite heavy and plenty sinful.  He didn't even dip the tacos into the braising liquid since the tacos had so much flavour and moisture already.  I dipped it and the shallots added a lot to the meatiness of the liquid.  There was plenty of shortrib inside the tacos and it was more or less tender.

Viv didn't get anything big and went for the West Coast Salad with avocado, bacon, apples, romaine, cherry tomatoes, kale, nut & seed blend, grana padano and white balsamic & avocado dressing.  Okay, the salad itself was good where the freshness of the ingredients was evident.  Bacon and the cheese added the necessary saltiness and body while the dressing had enough balancing acidity to keep things light.  Really didn't think they needed to put that many croutons, but they were crispy and light.

My dad went for his standby being the only fish dish in the Lemon Herb Salmon.  This featured an oven-roasted fillet that was flaky and moist.  It sat atop rice and roasted Brussels sprouts.  I really liked the sprouts as they were still firm but cooked all-the-way-through.  There was some smoky charring and they were well-seasoned.  The lemon parsley glaze was mild and subtle.  It could've used a bit more punch.

My mom also had her usual in the steak, specifically the Salsa Verde Steak.  She asked for it to be prepared medium-rare but closer to rare.  Well, it was perfectly executed.  Hence it was juicy and generally tender (with a few chewy parts).  The steak could've used a bit more seasoning though.  As for the tomatillo salsa verde, it was actually rather mild and I would've liked to see more flavour.  There was a seared potato pavé underneath it was good -  buttery with tender layers of potato.  

For myself, I had the Birdies Burger with double patty, tomato jam, smoked bacon, American cheddar, lettuce, onion and pickles on toasted brioche.  I generally enjoyed this burger since the bun was soft, yet stayed intact while the bacon was uniformly crispy.  The burger patties were a decent size and were moist and tender.  However, I found the patties to be crumbly and lacking a bit of meat texture.  Despite this, the burger was still good.  It also came with a whack load of crispy fries.

For dessert, we decided to give their Key Lime Bar a go.  This was a fairly large portion where the strong tanginess of key limes really came through.  The bar itself was rich and creamy while quite sweet.  Graham crust was firm while the Chantilly cream was light.  Overall, the food at Birdies was generally good with a few tweaks needed.  The place has a youthful presence with bright colours and loud music.

The Good:
- A lot brighter and "open" than the old Earl's
- Decent eats
- Energetic vibe, if you like that

The Bad:
- I love loud music and I play it loud in my car and at home. However, it was so loud at Birdies, it was hard to have a convo



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