VORTEX, LITTLE FIVE POINTS - ATLANTA, GA, RESTURANT REVIEW
If you are bored of your run of the mill dining experience, and are looking to touch on your wild side tonight, I suggest going to The Vortex Bar & Grill in Little Five Points. One of two locations (the other in Midtown – Atlanta, GA), this grungy, 18-and-over restaurant attracts people of all kinds and personalities. From the moment you walk through their skull entrance and get your ID checked, you are enveloped in a biker-esque, rock-and-roll, albeit very friendly experience.
It’s no wonder how The Vortex got its name, as a vortex is usually defined as something regarded as a whirling mass, and this restaurant is no exception. It is definitely a whirling mass of eclectic people, music, decorations, and most importantly, amazing food. I had barely stepped foot in the restaurant before I was bombarded with the smell of burgers, booze, and smoke. It was a great combination. Like I said, there are two locations, one in Little Five and one in Midtown.
The one I went to was in Little Five, and its address is 438 Moreland Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30307. They open at 11:00 AM every day, are stay open until midnight during the week, and 3:00 AM on the weekends. There is a small parking lot (free) immediately outside the restaurant, but we ended up parking for $5 at the convenience store next-door, as the parking The Vortex provided was full. The easiest way to get there is to take GA 400 straight into Atlanta. If you’d like to see more, their website is http://www.thevortexbarandgrill.com.
Here are the basic things you need to know about The Vortex:
- Style: Bar food/Burgers and sandwiches; extensive booze
- Dress: Casual, optional grunge
- Atmosphere*: Eclectic, loud, fun
- Great for: Big groups, late nights out, not your usual restaurant
I was with a party of 5, without a reservation, and although the space we had to wait in was very crowded, it was only 15 minutes before we got a table in the crowded restaurant. After placing our drink order with our very friendly, very customer-oriented waiter, I finally cracked open to menu to see what was inside. And the thing that immediately caught my eye was the page dedicated entirely “Stuff You Really Need To Know”. From explanations to their smoking and age policy as well as certain restaurant policies regarding large parties and splitting checks, to their tongue in cheek Vortex Rule #1: Idiot-Free Zone, this hilarious explanatory page completely epitomized the feel of the restaurant: If you don’t like us, that’s okay, we’re going to our own thing.
Then I delved into the food. There was also an entire page dedicated solely to burgers, and after some coercing from my friends and waiter, I decided to go for it. I played it safe, and went for the classic Vortex Bacon Cheeseburger, and I was certainly not disappointed. From the crispy bacon, to the melted cheese atop my perfectly cooked burger, it was definitely one of the best burgers I ever had. But, the burger they are most well-known for is their Coronary Bypass, and the variations, the Double or Triple Coronary Bypass.
After reading the description of this literal heart-attack on a plate, I wished I had the guts to try it. But, luckily, a friend of mine decided to go for the Double Coronary Bypass. After completely cleaning his plate, I waited for the cardiac arrest to begin, but luckily, there were no trips to the emergency room that night. Other dishes in my party included a very well-cooked bison burger (not dry at all) that truly impressed everyone at the table.
The Vortex also offers classic bar fare, including wings, nachos, fondue, chicken fingers, you name it, as well as an array of different sandwiches. Their Reuben is a favorite of mine, claimed to be the best Reuben outside of New York, and it definitely lives up to that title. Also, the majority of their food is all around fifteen to twenty dollars, so all in all, it’s a very affordable night out. From all their food, to their very extensive “Booze Menu”, The Vortex has something for everyone.
One word of advice to diners of The Vortex: Be sure to tip your waiter! As it says in their Stuff You Really Need To Know, tip or die! They take the quality of their staff very seriously, something I definitely noticed and experienced while I was there, and sometimes need a little extra help maintaining said quality. However, I was so happy with my night there; I would have gladly given my waiter my left arm if I had to.
All in all, The Vortex was a great place, with fantastic food and an exceptional atmosphere. From their amazing staff to their great prices, they ensure their customers a good time, and a memorable experience. Don’t let the hard-core exterior scare you; The Vortex Bar & Grill is a sure place to have a good time.
E. Macy Freelance writer for atlanta-restaurants.org