It's Thursday and I haven't had a veggie burger since Sunday. But the post-DC health kick is over and I'm ready to return to my righteous path. My friends from Belfast, a killer pop duo called Oppenheimer, are in town for a show at Union Hall and a quick look at their web-site (www.unionhall.ny.com) tells me they have a veggie burger on the menu. Seems like I can kill two birds with the one stone.
Union Hall is a great bar situated on Union Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I get the F from the Lower East Side to 4th Avenue and walk North noticing the contrast between the fairly desolate and grim 4th Avenue and the fashionable 5th. Union Hall certainly has more in common with the cool end of things. The feel of the place is like an old sitting room with antique furniture, low tables and even the odd chaise longe. However, toward the back of the room there's a couple of bocce courts (no, me neither but it's kinda like bowls - the European not the American variety) which people seem to be enjoying but doesn't really look like a lot of fun.
When my burger arrives I have a realisation. This isn't the end of my health kick. This thing not only tastes good but it seems to be made from really healthy ingredients. The patty is formed from fresh roast vegetables, there's no cheese in sight and the fries are the sweet potato variety which just seem to have a little more goodness about them. It also has a nice unique flavour thanks to some chipotle aioli smeared on a sesame bun. Good stuff all round, my only complaint being that the bar is pretty crowded and I have to eat my food off my lap.
Then it's downstairs where the cheap cans of PBR which accompany the rock show really do put an end to the health kick. The oppenheimers are on top form. Traveling the length and breadth of the US with They Might Be Giants has transformed them from a polite indie-pop band into a much edgier entity. The guitars growl as well as fizz and the drums are hit harder than ever before. That said, Shaun's vocals and Rocky's synth lines ensure the audience never has to listen too hard or wait too long for the next pop thrill.
A damn fine burger and a damn fine night out, as Special Agent Dale Cooper might say.