The Vortex: The Epitome of Sass in a Meal

I love a sassy attitude as much as the next person, and I was excited to discover a restaurant that is the epitome of sass. The Vortex Bar and Grill is located in the heart of Atlanta’s Midtown, the center of youth vibrancy and bustling activity.

Some restaurants indirectly try too hard but attempt to cover it up; the Vortex, by contrast, is straightforward about what they offer, which is a no-fuss attitude, a decor of badassery, and delicious, cheap burgers. They refuse to deal with anyone’s bullshit, and with dozens of awards on their wall, they can definitely afford to be upfront about it.

My friend Josh informed me aphoto 1 (1)bout its existence by sending me a link of their house rules page. I laughed out loud and was immediately intrigued; you’ve got to be over 18 to get in, on account of the adult decor, including racy pictures along the walls and an elegant penis statue right next to the door. You’ll dine in dim, red lighting and wiggle your legs to the beat of loud metal music.

This place is perfect for those who aren’t interested in having a deep conversation, but rather occasionally laugh and shout at each other.

The Vortex acknowledges that their food isn’t the best (health-wise), but they simply boast the best-tasting burgers in Atlanta.

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For the appetizer, the three of us (Josh, Bryant, and I) split a $10 “Borracho Nacho dish,” which was great; the perfectly spiced chili was through all over and throughout the shredded lettuce and tomatoes and melted cheese and sour cream and tortilla chips. Interestingly enough, they also offer this dish with tots substituting the tortillas. Lovely.
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Bryant got the Blue ‘Shroom, which was described as “so tasty you might actually see God.” It was topped with sautéed mushrooms and bacon, and a blue cheese dressing that didn’t hit until seconds later. Too pungent for me, but if blue cheese is your thing, then I think you’d really enjoy this burger, since it’s double the meatiness, with the mushrooms. B got tots, which were as great as tots can taste, well seasoned and piping hot. ($11.25)
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Josh’s Hell’s Fury is described as “not for sensitive souls,” like myself. So I didn’t risk it. He described it as very spicy, topped with triple spice: pepper jack, “Atomic Death Sauce”, habanero relish, and a roasted jalapeño. Damn. But can we talk about his side item?? Bryant and I were both glancing over with envy at his “Swee’tater waffle fries” that came with – wait-for-it – MARSHMALLOW GOO. It was the perfect sweet note to complement the spicy and savory elements of our food, and we all agreed that it was the best side dish. ($10.95)
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Finally, I ordered the Hot Southern Mess, thick texas style toast with fried chicken (which was delicious and moist) with thick white gravy sauce, egg, and bacon. Yum. Its like breakfast for dinner! I ordered a side of fried plantains, which I wish I enjoyed, but they went soggy really quickly and tasted burnt on the outside, imparting an unpleasant tang on my tongue. But I’ll acknowledge that I haven’t had many plantains in my lifetime, so I might be unable to appreciate them to their full extent. ($10.95)

On a Thursday night around 8PM, we were happy to oblige with a 20 minute waiting period. They don’t take reservations, and the whole party must be presented to be seated. While we were waiting, lots of young people came and went; I will emphasize that this place is probably not for the light of heart.

Our waitress was pleasant and didn’t rush us at all, and all of our food arrived within ~12 minutes of ordering it.

Portions? Huge. Everyone finished their meal with a full belly, or in my case, I finished 1/2 of my sandwich. And the sides come free with the sandwiches and burgers! Everyone order something different so everyone can reach across the table and share!

Their menu is the perfect size, with hilarious names like the “Fat Elvis”, featuring fried bananananas, PB, and bacon, and the

TRIPLE CORONARY BYPASS“: three patties, three fried eggs, FOURTEEN slices of cheese, and TEN slices of bacon between two grilled cheese sandwiches…….

($28.95)

….. has your heart rate sped up yet?

Everything looks interesting, and I would say that there’s something on the menu for everyone; not even the salads look wimpy.

Price. Drumroll. My bill ended up around $14 because we split the appetizer, but don’t forget you are paying for the badassery of the restaurant as well as really good quality food, so I would say you are getting much more for your money than you could ever imagine.

One aspect that I can’t reflect on is their huge bar. If you’re of age, they’ve got a huge selection, and the word on the street is that they know what they are doing.

This place is a combination of many wonderful factors that I think college students would love. Seems like a great place for a Saturday night outing.

At the Midtown location, they’ve got lunch specials every Mon-Thurs!

The Vortex has another location in Little Five Points.

878 Peachtree Street. NE – Atlanta, GA 30309

(404) 875-1667

The Vortex also holds the Laughing Skull Lounge comedy club! Rad!

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