Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Burgers at The Vortex

Took the HLDW* to one of the best burger 'n beer spots in Atlanta for lunch yesterday - The Vortex (Link here: http://www.thevortexbarandgrill.com/).

This joint is located in a neighborhood known as Little Five Points - the obligatory urban bohemian area that any large city supports. You know the type; populated by the strung-out, the tattooed and pierced and the generally disaffected youth and burnt out aging hippies. Of course, since this is the Deep South, you need to throw in a freshly scrubbed fundamentalist Christian standing on the corner and wearing a pressed white shirt and tie, screaming the "WORD OF GOD" at the top of his lungs in an effort to "SAVE" the aforementioned strung-out, tattooed, etc. Essentially, this is a petting zoo for the HLDW and she loves it. For me it is a land of situational awareness overload, constant proximity alerts and strained neck muscles from scanning for targets. However, I am a man who loves his charred cow flesh so I wade into this human microcosm of hepatitis-C and herpes donors on occasion to partake of the burger glory that is The Vortex.

Props to the HLDW* as she loves this joint as much as I do as they have a veggie burger alternative. I know, I know Bedak and BarnesM - the very idea of something called a veggie burger is an oxymoron and a perversion before the eyes of God. But, it gets me a pass into joints like this so I'm just grateful and look the other way whenever she orders.

The burgers are hand formed patties grilled-up short order style and dressed in a variety of ways with good stuff. One of my favorites is the Coronary Bypass which has 3 slices of cheese, 4 slices of bacon and a fried egg. There are very few things in life that cannot be improved by the addition of a fried egg. I have never had the testicular fortitude to order the Double Coronary, which, as you might guess, doubles the ingredients of the Coronary Bypass. The twist, however, is that the 2 burger patties, several slices of cheese and bacon and 2 fried eggs are sandwiched between 2 grilled cheese sandwiches in lieu of the standard hamburger bun. OK, I've wanted to try it but the laser like glare from the HLDW anytime my eyes stray to that part of the menu is truly something to behold. The awesomeness of the Vortex experience is ratcheted-up as one of the choices of side items is TATER TOTS! They do their tots well here - they come to the table hot and crispy - I've never had a soggy tot in The Vortex.

Which brings us to the point of this particular missive. There is one item on the burger menu that is such an unusually off-putting amalgamation of sweet and savory ingredients that I've been reticent to try it. It is a play on the gastronomical proclivities of a Southern icon ... The Elvis Burger. Elvis, as is widely known, was fond of fried Fluffer Nutter sandwiches - a combo of peanut butter, banana and marshmallow creme grilled together.

The Elvis Burger is essentially a bacon cheeseburger that has a healthy portion of smooth peanut butter and fried banana slices added to it. Strange combo but I steeled my nerve and decided to just go for it. The burger was daunting in its sheer size as the banana slices were rather large and stacked so it was a challenge for the mighty jaws of The Rhino to engulf it for a bite. But, in true Rhino fashion, I persevered and was rewarded with an explosion of flavors - balanced savory and sweet. The peanut butter was set against the smokiness of the bacon and the bananas were not overly sweet (something that I feared going in) and they added a nice touch of creaminess - the creaminess offset the lack any other condiment. All in all I was pleasantly surprised. The Elvis Burger is a winner.

When trying something new the final question I ask myself is, "Would I eat it again?" and the verdict this time is yes indeed, I would.

A fine lunch was had by all.

It is good to be the gastronomically adventurous Rhino.

Well, at least this time.


*Hippie Liberal Douche Wife


  1. Anonymous11:17 AM

    The King would have been proud.
    Coronory Bypass sounds awesome - just needs a good hot sauce.

  2. I looked at that website and if I hadn't already known it was a burger joint then it would have been hard to tell from the website.

    I think websites are becoming like some TV ads, so cutting edge and stylish that they forget to tell people what they are selling.

    I was going to buy stuff for a toasted sandwich lunch today, but now I am going to have to go get a burger.

  3. I am going to have to win Lotto so I can get over there, if for nothing else, for the fine dining.

  4. so the Christian on the corner..did he have the herps or the hep-c?

  5. Hmm, sounds interesting, and if ever faced with an Elvis burger I shall remember your wise words and hurl myself into the gastronomic breach, as it were.

  6. Good burger joints are absolute unrefined win. There's one here called Velvet Burger (hmmm) which have specialised in targeting the cashed up post-midnight drunken student market. Make bloody good burgers too. The kind of idea you wish you had before someone else did. Actually I did, I reckoned someone should open a chain of seedy kebab places called DodgyKebab which only opened between 10pm and 6am and moved regularly so people would only remember them as 'that awesome kebab place we found that time when we were absolutely ripped'.

  7. Double coronary eh? I'm already on the plane.

  8. Anonymous1:07 PM

    There are a hundred reasons I want to visit Atlanta. Eating at the Vortex is now at the top of my list.

  9. AK, the one in the corner, has a Glock 9, The hamburger is the least of your worries.


Comments are welcome. However, being an ass may result in a horrible, albeit accidental, goring.