The Freehouse

The new North Loop brewpub/eatery the Freehouse, from the Blue Plate restaurant group, has a multi-genre menu as sprawling as its cavernous environs. The offerings yield strong openers, such as a vibrant bison tartare, and kale with fine notes of sesame and peanut. Entrées, though, prove mixed in appeal—a carmelized Thai pork on rice and slaw (serviceable), a plate of SoCal shrimp tacos with cabbage (better). None of the dishes we tried banished the feeling that the sprawling menu is a greatest hits of its sister restaurants (Edina Grill, The Lowry). The original brews are solid, including the Hoppy Amber and West Coast IPA, though the craft beer cocktails (liquor, mixers, suds) are an idea best left on the chalkboard. The Freehouse’s muddy sound system and ubiquitous flat-screen TVs felt emblematic of the restaurant’s issues: too busy chasing several trends to attend to the details. •