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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Illegal Food, Virginia Highlands: A First Look

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 and those who think this is a Boston based seafood restaurant

Illegal Food was put on the map by getting 2014's Best Hamburger by a little known publication named Zagat.  They were doing their craft in East Atlanta in a bar called Joystick before going out on their own.

They moved to the space directly behind Dark Horse in the Highlands which has historically been a tough location.  Pulling in on a Thursday, I expected it to be packed, but I somehow got parking right behind the restaurant at 815p.  This never would have happened when I lived down here in the late 90's to early 2000's.  

I loved living down here, but my liver probably is pretty happy that I don't anymore.  Though a prophet named Eddie Money once said "I want to go back and do it all over, but I can't go back I know."

Eddie was so much more than a pretty face with great hair.............right?
So we come to a world class burger joint and naturally we order.......Brussel Sprouts. I mean, why not?  The valet actually sold me on these.  As you can tell I am easily persuaded.

My friend Robbie and I ordered these while waiting for El Jeffe.  And we both agreed these may be the best that I've ever had.  Better than Valenza's.  Jeff was lucky there was some left when he arrived!

Then came the burgers, we ordered 3.  "The Hank" (which put them on the map) and is the greatest fictional sidekick of all time (see above), "The Nasty Nate" and then "The Fungus Among Us."

Unanimously (and somewhat shocking) was "The Fungus Among Us."  This is Brasstown Dry Aged Grass Feed Beef  with Wilde Mushrooms, Swiss Cheese, Rocket (?) and Red Onion.  2nd we liked "The Nasty Nate"with Heirloom Chili Rub, Raw Milk Bleu Cheese, Bourbon Bacon Jam (this was ridiculous) and red onion.

The Fungus would be a SERIOUS contender for best burger, which may or may not happen soon.  The signature burger was good, but no our favorite. I think this is a good thing, because their offerings have obviously grown.

The Okonamiyaki Style fries were a nice accompaniment.  Though, order an extra side of their Chili Sauce, which is delicious.

Overall, it was a really good dining experience.  It wasn't very crowded on a nice Thursday night, which is a little concerning,  The product delivers as advertised and they did a great job with the physical space.  As the Holeman and Finch Burger has gone downhill and too mainstream, I truly hope these guys can fill that space.  I think they have the momentum and product to do it.

So if you want a burger and some great QUALITY choices, this is your spot.  I really wish they were open for a nice hangover lunch.  I can't think of a better burger to get over a night of binge drinking.

Today's Sidenote:  As I drove home, I passed "Murder Kroger."  There is not a more unfortunate nickname in Atlanta, yet it's still spot on.

I can't believe I missed out on this tshirt
I love that they tried to change the nickname to "Beltline Kroger."  Yea, that would be like trying to give Rerun and new nickname.  Not happening and it never will.  Of course the recurring murders on the premises do not help either.   Murder Kroger even has it's on FB page!!!

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