Vortex in little five points is different from other restaurants. I am not talking about the larger than life skull door or the tattoo covered servers, although they certainly contribute to Vortex's identity. What I am talking about is an attitude, an air of self assurance that is not often found in other establishments around town. The attitude seems to stem from self knowledge of what it is. What Vortex is is a place where both family with children and leather clad bikers are equally welcome and where bad behavior is not tolerated from either.
The restaurant has rules. For polite company, Vortex patiently explains that "property rights are the most basic of civil rights and are the cornerstone of our free society . . . The Vortex is operated on private property. When we open our doors to the public we allow individuals permission to enter our property if they so desire, but we do not grant anyone the 'right' to remain on the premises. Being the guest of any property owner is a privilege, revocable at any time. If we do not appreciate someone's behavior while in The Vortex, as the property owner we reserve the right to remove that person at our sole discretion." For those simply interested in rule application, Vortex has no problem saying that "bullies, busybodies, and other advocates of socialism have spent years trying to blur the distinction between the concept of 'open-to-the-public' and 'publicly-owned.' They do not mean the same thing . . . In other words, no one can force us to put up with you if we think you're acting like a jack-@$$ . . . So if we have to toss your stupid @$$ out of The Vortex for acting like an idiot, don't be telling us about your 'rights.' Just shut up and get out. Better yet, do us all a big favor and don't act like an idiot to begin with." What I am saying is that Vortex has order.
We take our summer recruits to Vortex in hope that they will take a walk on the wild side and surrender themselves to the "coronary bypass," a thick sirloin patty topped with a drippy fried egg, three slices of American cheese, four slices of bacon, all served up between toasted buns. We also harbor hope that a few brave souls will go for the "double bypass" with twice the goodness and twice the deadliness, a plate that easily separates superhuman from mere mortals.
As for myself, I am a fan of the classic cheese burger, medium rare (above). This is no fancy burger, just one that is of good quality beef and cooked to the right temperature. Consistency seems the strength of the place, an advantage acquired through its burger specialization. If it's a classic burger you want, Vortex tends not to disappoint.
What I always found to be immensely enjoyable are these fried jalapenos, which are not on the menu, but can often be arranged as an appetizer. Impossibly crunchy on the outside, the jalapenos within are firm but not raw, spiced but not overly so. They remain addictive even after ingesting the burger.
The Vortex (Little 5 point)
438 Moreland Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30307