If asked to summarise Illegal Jack’s South West Grill, on Edinburgh’s Lothian Road, I’d settle on “Nando’s for tex-mex food”. Illegal Jack’s offer their Mexican food to sit-in or takeaway. In both cases you head to the counter and wait while your meal is prepared. The menu at Illegal Jack’s is simplicity itself - choose your weapon (burrito, quesadilla or tacos), fill it with the “good stuff” (chicken, beef or vegetarian options), add some beans (black or pinto) and top it with mild, hot or roasted salsa. If none of that tickles your tex-mex tastebuds then Illegal Jack’s offers nachos, buffalo wings, fajitas, sald or chilli. What more could you ask for!?
Illegal Jack’s has been trading for nearly 5 months. Its growing reputation accelerated through heavy use of online advertising and social media. For example anyone who recruits 10 Facebook fans to Illegal Jack’s is entered into a draw to win a complementary meal for 10 people. The staff at Illegal Jack’s were helpful and the decor sleek and appealing. The walls describe the dishes available at Illegal Jack’s and their origins; a conversation topic while munching through your tex-mex. Although a quick Google suggests nachos first surfaced in 1943 courtesy of a certain Ignacio Anay, not 1965-70 as the wall at Illegal Jack’s suggests.
The burrito (¬£5.95) at Illegal Jack’s is huge and absolutely packed full of meat, beans and rice. Clearly the star of the show. Though be sure to read the instructions provided on how to eat a burrito properly to avoid spilling the filling everywhere! The tacos (¬£5.50) were pleasant, although the chicken could have been warmer. The chopped tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole and salsa all oozed fresh and zesty appeal. Tortilla chips and dips (¬£3.50) were an enjoyable side order. Soft drinks at ¬£1.50 are fine, but refills should be included without the need for a 50p supplement. It’s worth noting that Illegal Jack’s don’t serve alcohol, so those of you looking for a beer with your tex-mex will be disappointed.
If you’re planning a visit to Illegal Jack’s then check-out their Facebook and Twitter pages for some great offers e.g. 2 for 1 Fajitas on Sunday or 2 for 1 burritos, 3-5pm any day. I love the concept of Illegal Jack’s and the execution is a fine effort. It’s clear “Illegal Jack” wants to build his business into a brand. Based on our visit he has every opportunity.
Illegal Jack’s South West Grill is located at 113 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9AN.
Telephone: 0131 622 7499