Caught in The Vortex

Saturday Hubby and I were supposed to meet #2 for lunch for he ended up having to go into work early and didn’t get to make it.  I had called #3 the day before and asked her if she wanted to go too so she and her boyfriend came and we ended up going to The Vortex.

The entrance to The Vortex

If you have never been to or heard of The Vortex you have missed out.  It’s another restaurant that has been featured on one of our favorite cooking shows.  This one was on Man vs. Food. 

There are actually two locations of The Vortex in Atlanta.  The original is no longer in it’s original location but a couple of blocks over on Peachtree Street in Midtown.  We went to the one located in Little Five Points which is, to me, more of a Bohemian, funky, hippie part of Atlanta.  The Vortex is almost next door to The Junkman’s Daughter which is a trip unto itself.

The location on Peachtree actually had a comedy club inside it called the Laughing Skull.  I’ve never been to it though #2 has.  She went once and saw Jennifer Coolidge, better known as Stifler’s mom from American Pie.

Jennifer Coolidge aka Stifler's mom

  She said she was hilarious and she ended up afterwards at the same bar (or restaurant?) and got to talk with her there and said she was very down to earth and sweet.

Back to Little Five.  We ended up sitting on the closed in deck which was fine.  It’s heated and dry, it was just weird to wait inside the restaurant and then to get to our table having to go outside and walk up the outside stairs to get to our table.

The Vortex is well known for its selection not only of burgers, supposedly some of the best known to man, but also for its liquor selection.  I think the menu has (according to the website) six pages of beer, wine and alcohol.  Since it’s primarily a bar, the last time we went, #3 couldn’t go because you have to be 18 to even eat there.  Since she’s “legal” to eat there now, she couldn’t wait.

They have some of the most unique burgers I have ever heard of, including the one that Adam Richman ate, or attempted to eat.  I can’t remember if he actually finished it or not.  I’m thinking not.  It’s Called “the super stack heart attack” burger and costs $25.95.  It consists of “Two half-pound sirloin patties stacked inside three grilled cheese sandwiches, topped with two fried eggs, eight slices of American cheese, ten slices of bacon, with plenty of mayo on the side. With this burger we choose your side for you, and it’s a big bowl of fries and tots covered in our cheesy-cheese goo.”  That is according to their menu.

You can check out their menu at their website at  It tells their history and how the Little Five location opened up just three days before the ’96 Summer Olympics here in Atlanta.

My favorite part of the restaurant is the menu and all their disclaimers, rules and regulations.  Being that everyone in my family at some point has been employed in the hospitality industry she especially appreciated their advice on tipping.  Taken from their website/menu it states:


An 18% gratuity may be added to your check if you are a party of six or more. If you think that tipping is a scam, then buy yourself a TV dinner, stay home and watch wrestling. Tipping is how our Servers and Bartenders make their living. If you ever feel that you have received substandard service, please notify the Manager-on-Duty before you leave. We really want to know.

It also states that it is an idiot free zone:


At The Vortex Bar & Grill the customer is NOT always right.  We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone, especially if we think that you’re a great big jerk. We strive to keep The Vortex an official “Idiot-Free Zone” at all times, so if you’re acting like an idiot, we’ll be sure to let you know, right before we throw your silly ass out.


The Vortex Bar & Grill is not politically correct. If you are easily offended, there’s a good chance you’ll be offended here. We offer our customers a bunch of booze, the option to smoke, delicious grilled animals to eat, and ridiculous,

sophomoric humor. So consider yourself warned, tight-ass.


Everything you need to know about our food and beverage selection is printed somewhere within our menus. Please read them thoroughly. If you ask us stupid questions we will be forced to mock you mercilessly.


The Vortex Bar & Grill is not a Public Library, it is a privately owned bar and as such we enforce a very strict “No-Whining” policy. We are sorry if you are offended by the rowdy strippers sitting at the table next to you, or if you think that the bar area is too smoky, or if you don’t like the music, but if you really need to have total control over your environment, then you really need to stay home.


The Vortex is a true short-order kitchen. We will gladly prepare special orders whenever it is possible. If you place an order for something that is not on our menu, and we do make it for you, we will charge you whatever damn price we think is fair and you’ll thank us for it. If you request extra stuff, that’s no problem either, but you will be charged for it. Hey, we don’t get any of this stuff for free. Requested deletions will not reduce the price of any menu item.


If you are dining with people that you just don’t trust, you may request a separate check. But please ask your Server for your own check when placing your order, otherwise you’re gonna screw up our system. We will NOT issue separate checks for parties of six or more people, but we will happily supply you with a calculator.


Cash is great. We also accept most major plastic. Sorry, but we do NOT accept personal checks or traveler’s checks.

GEEK NOTE: If you review your bank activity “online,” you should know when you use certain debit cards at restaurants the dollar amount may appear greater than the actual “charge” amount for a period of up to three days. This is a banking industry policy that The Vortex has absolutely no control over so don’t be calling us crying about it. Contact your bank or card issuer for more information.


All the items on our menu are fresh, and cooked to order.  We strive to have food to your table within 20 minutes but if we are very busy your order may take a little longer.  Any well-done burgers will also increase your wait time. You see, a half pound of fresh, raw sirloin actually has to cook! Nothing at The Vortex ever sits under a heat lamp.  This ain’t fast food, it’s good food.

It also has a very eclectic décor.  Here are a few pictures from the inside:

Billy Dee Williams in neon hawking Colt 45!


This was on the ceilig above the bar area


I think this design is probably the most popular on their t-shirts

I had soup and half sandwich.  I chose the cream of mushroom soup which was delicious and grilled cheese which I had them prepare with Jack cheese and Foccacia bread.  Yummy.  We also ordered Atlanta’s Original Nacho Tots as an appetizer and it was a HUGE portion.  It’s made like nachos but with tater tots!  They also have chili cheese tots!  Too cool.  Oh, and their sweet tea I’m pretty sure is sweetened with honey, not sugar.  It had unusual taste although not unpleasant.  Just different.  We had a great lunch and now we will have to go back when hubby can go too.  I guess we will just continue on our quest to eat our way through cooking shows!


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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6 Responses to Caught in The Vortex

  1. Jimmy says:

    Now you have added another location to my Must See list, we are sure going to be busy when we come to see you 🙂

  2. SuziCate says:

    Sounds like a cool place!

  3. NikNik says:

    Oh how I miss the Vortex! Jealous!

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