Broadcasting from Atlanta: The Vortex

In February of 2009 I visited my grandparents in their Florida timeshare. It was during this trip that my aunt introduced me to the Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food”.

Each episode of the show focuses on a specific city, and generally visits three eateries- two that are superb to visit, and a third that challenges gastromic endurance.

Just before I left for Florida in October, I heeded the program’s recommendation for Boston and visited Eagle’s Deli. A short while later that night, I met Alton Brown by accident.

Also thanks to my aunt, I put Vortex on my curiousity list should I ever wind up in Atlanta. As I am here tonight, I booked my hotel to be both twenty minutes from one of Vortex’s two locations and the Georgia Aquarium.

In the Atlanta installment, Vortex was the all-you-can-eat challenge, offering some culinary monstrosity that was a cheeseburger that contained eggs, bacon, and used grilled cheese sandwiches in place of the traditional bun (I think it’s referred to as the double coronary bypass).

I left Florida at 6:30 this morning after having a hearty breakfast of three croissants and an iced coffee. I stopped once during the nine-hour drive to have a Mountain Dew and a couple of Snickers.

Once I arrived at the hotel around four, I slept until half past eight, showered, and ventured to Vortex around nine.

The establishment heavily advertises that they are unapolgetic about the several things- a smoky bar (which is still legal in Georgia), a waitress being surly to a rude customer, having little patience for those calling for take-out and then assembling their order, and so forth. The website and “Man V. Food” spot also showcased waitstaff with extensive, visible tattoos. Perhaps I’m just decompressing from living on a country club island since the summer.

Here’s what it looks like from the street:

Once inside I presented my ID to a girl talking to a non-descript person. I probably could have slipped right past her if I had a mind to.

Since I was by myself, I was hesitant to claim a large table, and finding the bar full, I seated myself at a little high-top and waited for a little tatooed waitress to come find me. She was very nice and was probably about five years my junior.

In the meanwhile, I snuck a few shots of the interior. It looks like a cross between Harry’s in Hyannis and TGIFridays.

I had a basic bacon cheddar cheeseburger, medium well. It was most satisfying!

If I were to relive today, though, I’d have asked for a double.

After finishing my cheeseburger, I was still rather hungry. I didn’t want to trouble the waitress, who was now busy, to ask what they were offering for dessert today (no dessert menu, just instructions on a white board to ask).

Instead, I ate in reverse order, and had a spiral pretzel appetizer, which I know my girlfriend would enjoy.

Off to bed and in the morning I shall visit the world’s largest aquarium with a self-guided audio tour, which is available through their website to be loaded onto an iPod.

Hey, I’m by myself and I have an iPod! Lots of pictures for my little brother to come.

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