UH-OH INAPPROPRIATE my wife says as we sit down and cast an eye around the grungy-punky place with it’s high hanging hammock, heavily tattooed guys behind the counter, hypnotically flashing neon strips of lights and that music.

“Ridin’ round town, we smokin’ dope, we smokin’ dope,” go the lyrics on the sound system.

I immediately order our 16-year-old son to clasp his hands over his young ears. But, as he has already correctly identified the singer as someone called A$AP Rocky, there don’t seem much point. Not that the music is the main bone of contention. It’s more that my family has furiously twigged that I somehow forgot to mention the word vegan when we left Bruce McGregor’s fiddle show at the City Halls, saying “Hey, let’s get a burger”.

“Better than McDonald’s” one of the reviews on the wall behind us claims. And, with the golden arches visible just across the road, I insist the author must have known exactly what he or she was talking about. Silence.

Anyway, there’s nothing more appropriate than following up a bit

of Celtic Connections violin action with some right-on cruelty-free food.

Donald Watson, the largely unsung father of UK veganism, wasn’t just prone to letting off steam with a bit of woodwork and some nature photography. He also played the violin.

I like to think what Donnie would be saying if he was around now to see

how counter-culture and fashionable-with-the-young veganism has become.

I think he’d approve.

“There’s some amazing things happening with chicken later this year,” the guy behind the counter says when I roll up to order. We’re talking substitutes here, obviously, and I got the ball of this conversation rolling by asking what exactly is in these burgers.

I’m told and, what with the noise, the hustle-bustle of counter activity (they’re doing an awful lot of takeaway), and the unfamiliar food words, I instantly forget.

I order anyway and return to my table to bang on about my favourite hobby horse: burgers are ripe for veganism because it’s still virtually impossible to get a decent meat-based one.

In fact, most burger places in Scotland still think a burger has to be slathered in so many awful toppings and fillings that the burger itself can’t be tasted, let alone identified. Unless that’s why they do it.

I know I mentioned last week I wasn’t eating anything vegan that masquerades as meat, but I forgot to add “apart from burgers”. Given the No1 type of restaurant/ cafe/pop-up opening now – Veganuary or not – is part of the plant-based wave sweeping the nation I may not have left myself a lot of choice.

The food? Hey, these look good, I say enthusiastically, as the burgers arrive tightly wrapped in chequered greaseproof, attractively sliced in half then peeled back to showcase the brightly coloured fillings and all sitting in cute little black plastic baskets.

This exclamation is met with suspicion from across the table and a fair bit of peering at the burgery bit. Here’s what I’m seeing. Crisply toasted bun (good) pickles (good), a smattering of salad (good), a flash of relish and a clearly definable burger (good) which is

charred from the grill (definitely good). Flavour? I’d say more texture than flavour but still pleasant.

The toppings are only there to gently assist that charred burger itself – not dominate (good). There’s a cornflake-coated chicken burger too, this has a hint of barbecue-flavoured katsu sauce but, likewise, is more about texture. Unfortunately, this bun is oily in one small part. That aside, would we eat again? Yes. Much better than a routine burger. And guilt-free.

Durty Vegan Burger Club

994 Argyle Street


Tel: 07377 911773

Open: Thurs to Sunday 12-10pm

Menu: Cornflake coated chicken (substitute) burgers, durty vegan er non-meat burgers, fries, kimchis, yadayada; plant-based but cool. 4

Service; Busy, bustling, but not hustling, cool guys, relaxed vibe, friendly chatty order-at-the-counter-service.5

Atmosphere: I’d say counter-culture, they’ll say cool, if you like neon lights, AS$P Rocky and a pretty fun feel you’ll like it. 4

Price: The plant-based revolution isn’t cheap, those burgers start at £8.50 and can hit £13 with fries costing extra - but it is what it is. 3

Food: They know how to properly and professionally prepare a very good-looking premium-item burger where you won’t miss the meat at all. It’s happening. 7

Total: 23/30