Vortex Bar & Grill – Midtown

GRADE: D

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Food – I have been excited to go to The Vortext for a long time. “Best burger joint in Atlanta” is what I hear from nearly everyone that has gone. So I asked these people, what burger should I order? Well if it’s your first time, go with the burger that made them famous, the coronary bypass burger was what I was told. It’s their half-pound sirloin patty topped with a fried egg, three slices of American cheese, and four slices of bacon and as their menu says, served with plenty of mayo. I was very excited, until it arrived. I…I don’t get it. It’s not even that the burger didn’t live up to my expectations; it’s that I didn’t even enjoy the burger at all. I ordered it medium and it came out Medium Well. You are famous for burgers, you have been on the food network, how do you cook a burger so far off from what it’s supposed to be? Then, I have to say that if that was sirloin in that burger, I will be a monkey’s uncle. There was no way that was anything other than plain beef and even if it is beef that is fine but at least season your burgers. Then your fried egg was hard fried. I don’t mean you cooked it until the egg just wasn’t runny, you cooked it to rubbery and then some. Same thing with the bacon. It’s one thing to cook it crispy. It’s another to burn it. Oh and what happened to that plenty of mayo I was supposed to receive? I got one packet of Hellman’s on the side of my plate. You are serving the same mayo I get in fast food restaurants and people still call this the best burger in Atlanta? Oh and what were those fries? Plain frozen fries, deep fried for a few minutes and served. It was not good. It was not good at all. It was in fact one of the least enjoyable burgers I have ever had. It just seemed like cheap frozen ingredients put together to make a bad burger. Food gets an F

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Ambiance – This place seems like it is trying to be a dive bar but you can’t be a dive bar on Peachtree St in Midtown and you certainly can’t be a dive bar when you do 800 covers on a week night. The walls were crowded with old bar signs, they had wood paneling around the place, small late 80’s tv’s behind the bar and a very dark room with some gimmicky items hanging around. I mean the whole dark hardcore atmosphere was expected but the overzealous effort to be a hole in the wall place was not good. You obviously don’t go there to watch sports and I obviously won’t go for the food so atmosphere would have been my only draw in. Unfortunately, there are plenty of places with the same bad decorations and fuzzy tv’s I can go to and get better food. Ambiance gets a C-

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Service – It’s one thing to have a policy of not putting up with jerks. It’s another to be one yourself. I think the servers and workers know that the management will certainly kick anyone out they perceive to be a problem so the workers know they can get away with being less than hospitable to the patrons. After coming in and sitting at the bar, a guy came up to me after a few minutes and said, “What do you want?” Well thanks for the welcome. I want to start with a beer so I ask, “What do you have on draft?” since I was at the far end of the bar and couldn’t see. Guy says, “I’ll get a menu.” So he gets the menu and puts it in front of me and walks away. Ok, that’s fine I guess, I can look it up, no big deal. Then I had to ask for a food menu after I ordered a beer and the guy acts like I asked him to act out the menu in a charade fashion for my entertainment. Did I really inconvenience you for asking for a menu because you were clearly bothered by it? So I was looking over the menu and the bypass burger was a half-pound but there were no weights listed under their specialty burgers. I actually wanted a specialty burger once I had arrived but was hungry and would still opt for the bypass if the specialty ones were only ¼ pound. So in any other restaurant I would have asked how big they were and if they were a half-pound I would have ordered one and if not just ordered the bypass as soon as I got my answer. However, I was scared to ask. If that guy didn’t like me asking what beers were on tap or to see a food menu, I can only imagine the hell it would cause him and/or me to ask the size of their burgers. So I ordered the bypass. I didn’t see the guy until he dropped off my check and he never said another word to me the whole time. I wasn’t expecting to be pampered here but I don’t think it was too much to expect some common courtesy as well. Service gets a D

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Price/Quality – My bill was $20. I wish it was only that but I gave a 20% tip to the guy even though he did nothing to deserve it. The only reason I did was because they have “Tip or Die” written on the menu. Figured if they want my money enough to threaten me, I will give it to them. Also, considering how awful my food was, I can’t say that $20 is worth the quality you receive. I really feel like I was cheated out of money. I did get food in my stomach but honestly if I could pick my own price, I wouldn’t have given them over $10 total including tip. Price/Quality gets a D

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Uniqueness – Oh there is plenty unique about how this place operates but few good ones. Yea they have unique burgers but they are just low quality and tasteless. Yea they have a unique policy towards customers which translates into you are going to be treated bad. Anything I think of that is unique to this place isn’t a good thing. Uniqueness gets a D

Vortex Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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