Illegal Jacks has reopened in a new location and I waited all of… erm… 36 hours before trying it out!
For visitors to the city or Edinburgh newbies who might not understand what a big deal this is, let me tell you – this is a big deal. Illegal Jacks used to be based on Lothian Road and was an Edinburgh institution, serving up some of the best burritos in the city. Things were going great for the place, until one day the ceiling caved in and Jack were forced to close.
The foodie community were devastated – Illegal Jacks was such a firm favourite and many (including myself) went through a bit of a mourning phase…. we couldn’t believe it was gone for good.
Thankfully, we were wrong 😉 Long story short, a grassroots campaign on Kickstarter (lovingly called ‘The Jackstarter) meant that Jack got the funding he needed to start over again in a new premises in St Patrick Square, which opened last week.
I thought I could maybe wait it out a little for the initial first few day’s rush to clear… but turns out, I couldn’t. It didn’t take me long to convince Mr Bug and a couple of his chums to join me on a visit!
The new premises is a bit smaller than the old joint on Lothian Road, but I really like what they have done with the space. There’s still plenty of seating room and they have laid out the ordering area really cleverly.
Basically, the bar where you order is right where you walk in, then you follow it along as they make your burrito and pay at the end. You then either take your ready made burrito to a table, or if it requires a bit more preparation (like a quesadilla or fajitas) they’ll bring it over to you once it’s ready.
Mr Bug went for his old favourite – the haggis burrito. It was just like he remembered, and was really filling, even though he only ordered the small one.
The haggis burrito is a bit of an Edinburgh specialty, and if you are new to the city I would highly recommend you order one – it’s an unusual combo but works incredibly well!
Meanwhile, I got my old favourite too – steak quesadilla. It takes a bit longer to make than the burritos, but it’s worth the wait. The dish has had a bit of a revamp since the new opening, now being served on a big fancy slate along with sour cream, salsa and guacamole (although the guacamole does cost extra).
The tortilla is grilled with the steak and cheese inside, making it all melty and awesome. I love Illegal Jack’s steak, it’s slow cooked so it’s really melt in the mouth, and just the right level of spiciness, just like I remembered!
It’s great to have Illegal Jacks back again. It’s a bit more off the beaten track now but I have no doubt that it will do well. With the festival crowds, the new students in September and its dedicated cult following, there will always be a steady stream of burrito lovers heading to this fantastic tex-mex joint!
You’ll find Illegal Jacks at 44 St Patrick Square, Old Town, Edinburgh EH8 9ET. Walk up Nicolson Street from North Bridge, and turn right when you see the music shop opposite Kalpna.