Atlanta, GA 30309
Vortex Bar and Grill Website
One of the more renowned of these places is The Vortex Bar and Grill. Featured on the Travel Channel's Man vs. Food, the Vortex was a rather unique spot. It's like a Rockabilly shrine, with Mike Ness wannabes manning most of the battle stations and Suicide Girls posters on the walls. Often, such attention to gimmicks and decorations is a sure sign that the food is mediocre at best. Rest assured, Vortex put just as much love into its substance as it did its style.
|The Vortex Bar and Grill -- Coronary Bypass Burger|
The skinny (irony intended): this was, as advertised, 8 ounces of sirloin, cooked perfectly to order. It seemed to be a bit leaner than the ideal 80/20 blends, but the Vortex's kitchen was adept at handling any burger meat. The bun was nice and firm, and was either an egg bread or a potato bread (egg is the best guess, given the lower density). You burger purists out there will be happy to know the first thing your reviewer did was sample just the meat, cheese, and bun. The meat was definitely of good quality, and had that strong flavor that is characteristic of sirloin. Given the cut of meat they use, though, it was also surprisingly tender. It was juicy (but not greasy), was cooked medium as ordered, and had a nice char and sear without drying out the outer parts of the patty. The American cheese melted nicely and was a perfect complement to the strong, sirloin flavor. If there was one criticism, and a minor one at that, it was that the patty seemed a touch too over-manipulated. The addition of the bacon and egg to the mix made a good thing even better. The egg was fried, Over Medium, and on top of it was a weave of four slices of meaty bacon. It was a delicious combination, so much so that UBMW didn't leave a single bite behind on the plate.
Other burgers: Ugly Bag's colleagues ordered fine selections such as the guacamole burger and the Elvis burger (that's right, topped with peanut butter and fried plantains). Both received rave reviews. While it is a serious violation of protocol, you are fully encouraged to sample one of their specialty burgers. You can be confident that flavor will be not overshadowed by gimmick.
Additional tip: try the potato salad. Instead of a traditional potato salad, they mixed the roasted potato pieces in with sour cream and chives.
Burger Review : They really cared about their food at the Vortex. Quality beef + quality other ingredients = win. It wasn't the best burger on the planet, but it was up there.