A book worm and foodie, studying English Literature at the University of Glasgow, writing about food, books and travel while aspiring to be a writer.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Why you should definitely go to Illegal Jack's.

Today is a rapturous post about what is one of the best Mexican restaurants that I have ever been to - if not the best.
Mexican food has always been one of those food 'genres' that I remained on the fence about. I enjoyed it from time to time, and fajitas were an exciting mealtime treat to come in from school to, but other than that I was never really that enthused. My boyfriend Calum, however, has always been different. He loves the stuff, if anything it is his favourite kind of food and he swears that if there was a burrito equivalent to Subway, he would be the size of a house.

Illegal Jack's is situated on Lothian Road, Edinburgh. Sadly, there isn't one in Glasgow, however it's refreshing going somewhere so good that isn't a chain (and also if it were in Glasgow, my dress size would be out the window). This restaurant is definitely not in need of me singing it's praises. Winner of several prestigious food awards since it's opening, it is recognised as something different, which creates an amazing and consistently fresh product.

For those of you who haven't been before, it doesn't fit to the formal restaurant format of waitress/waiter service. Instead, it is something more like Nando's, perhaps even more relaxed, definitely in a good way. As you go in you pick up your menu, seat yourself where you like and then when you're ready to order you do so at the counter where they will make and personalise your meal right before your eyes, unless you order something that takes a little more preparation which is then (promptly) brought out to you from the kitchen.

The food itself is so good it transformed me from an on-the-fence Mexican food fan to someone who would probably choose the tacos over a pizza any day.

The menu offers a four step personalised dish, where you can choose from a burrito, tacos or a quesadilla as your platform and fill it with your choice of meat or veg, salsa, pinto or black beans and any extras you may desire.
The fillings are to die for, from chicken breast to pulled pork, mouth-wateringly good beef chilli, vegetarian or meat haggis (yes really) or veggies/veggie chilli.
Then, there are a selection of specials, from fajitas to nachos (which I have had, and during so experienced a life changing moment), buffalo chicken wings served with blue cheese sauce, which I also recommend and salad bowls.

Basically, if you aren't convinced that Mexican food is all that great, this place will almost certainly change your mind. Or, if you are a Mexican lover, it will probably make you want to weep with joy. It's worth a train ride to Edinburgh for and to be honest, it is so good that often I'm not even tempted to branch out and try somewhere new when I'm visiting, despicable I know.

During this visit I had tacos for the first time; crispy tortilla shells which I filled with beef chilli, rice, black beans, roasted salsa, cheese, lettuce and guacamole. Too messy to pick up and eat, but gloriously so. Calum tried the haggis for the first time, in a burrito, his personal favourite. A cheeky bite means that I am definitely going for haggis when I next visit, surprisingly good with the Mexican flavours. It's great value for money in terms of portion size. The food fills Calum up (and he has hollow legs) and I can rarely finish mine, although this time my plate was clean! The staff are friendly and the relaxed, D.I.Y attitude creates a great place to pig out and feel like everyone else is doing just the same and loving it just as much as you are.
If you haven't tried Illegal Jack's, do. If you have, go again.















Anyway, back in Glasgow now (yippee) and down unfortunately to some revising. However, the high street and the thought of my summer holiday are making me feel particularly summery, especially since the purchase of my new Topshop sunnies and bikini, which make me rather feel like (an albeit less amazing) Beyonce. Now, all I need is for it to be sunny in Glasgow so I can wear them outside. The glasses I mean, not the bikini.


Travelling into town to see my gorgeous friend Lauren today, on the pretence of studying for our English Literature exam. However, if the stress of 'Orlando' by Virginia Woolf proves too much, it all might end in cocktails.. More to follow.

Lindsay x



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