Trouble With Toast

The Vortex…of Deliciousness | October 20, 2008

Unfortunately, I moved away from DC before the “burger revolution.”  I’ve never eaten one of Spike’s creations at Good Stuff Eatery, and I missed the culinary revelation that is a Ray’s Hell Burger.  Considering my love of all things between two buns (watch it, now), I was very disappointed about the timing of my relocation.

Good thing there’s the Vortex.  One of my favorite restaurants from my original stint in Atlanta, the Vortex has two intown locations and, in my humble (read: expert) opinion, the best burgers in the city.

I always bring out-of-town guests to the Vortex, not only because it’s an interesting vibe (think indie-goth-biker-pinup), but because I will take ANY excuse to go have one of their burgers.  So, when the esteemed Mr. Hammer was in town last week, we made our way over to the Little Five Points location (where you enter through a giant skull) and chowed down.

Jason ordered the Tex Melt with a bison patty, which was served on Texas toast with cheddar cheese, barbeque sauce, and fried jalapenos.  Yum.  I opted for the Yokohama Mama burger (bison, of course–it’s low fat!  Which makes burgers TOTALLY count as health food!), which boasted a tangy teriyaki glaze, jack cheese, and a ring of grilled pineapple.  Salty and sweet, it really hit the spot.

Now Hammer, he’s a bad mutha.  So he couldn’t order just any burger.  No, he had to prove his vast manliness by ordering the Coronary Bypass Burger (with COW, baby).  This massive half-pound specimen came with a fried egg, three slices of cheese, four strips of bacon, and mayo.  Here it is, in all of its pre-scarfing glory:

It may LOOK small, when cradled in Hammer’s big, strong hands.  But oh no, this is not a burger for the faint of heart.

After burgers, tots (which are essential at the Vortex), and many beers (there is an impressive selection), this residual condiment goo was all that remained:

Take that, DC burger joints.  Take that.

* Note: Hammer’s one criticism of the Bypass burger?  “It needs another egg.”  I salute you, my friend.  Next time, the Double Bypass (which substitutes grilled cheese sandwiches for the buns).



  1. We better fall in to that Vortex when I am there…I have never had the eg on burger…I may have to try.

    Comment by Lemmonex — October 20, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

  2. That burger does look itty bitty. I want Hammer to hold me in his big giant hands ALL the time.

    Hammer is the new black.

    Comment by freckledk — October 20, 2008 @ 3:16 pm

  3. I love the Coronary burger-minus the egg. The egg is just over the top, lol

    Comment by abg — October 20, 2008 @ 3:21 pm

  4. Lem: Oh, there will be at least one trip. And I’m sure there will be a burger to suit your tastes. You can customize them, too–oh, and they’ll cook them as rare as you want!

    FK: When I was taking the picture, I was like, “Damn, that’s a big burger.” But then when I uploaded it, I was like, “That’s all?” Trust me–it was HUGE.

    ABG: Yes, the egg is totally decadent–but I gotta say, it looked awesome! I would be worried it wouldn’t be runny enough, but I’m sure you could request over easy or hard fried or whatever floats your boat.

    Comment by bettyjoan — October 20, 2008 @ 4:17 pm

  5. Despite the skimping-on-the-egg issue, that was hands down the best burger I’ve had for as long as I can remember. (Except maybe the last time I was at The Vortex – about 10 years ago.)

    As for my “ginormous hands of sheer manliness,” all I can say is God bless the Norwegian genes.

    Oh, and Freckled K? While flattery will get you far indeed, I’m afraid there’s an extensive waiting list for “The Hammer Hold.” You’ll have to take a number just like everyone else whose initials are not “Jessica Biel.”

    Comment by Hammer — October 23, 2008 @ 8:47 pm

  6. Note: While the first picture emphasizes Hammer’s Norwegian hands, the second picture gives a better idea of how large the burger was.

    And Hammer–Jessica Biel? Really? Never would have pegged that one. Live and learn.

    Comment by bettyjoan — October 24, 2008 @ 1:33 pm

  7. What? No beets? Y’all are missing out!

    Comment by Binky — October 25, 2008 @ 3:16 pm

  8. As I recall, Hammer’s hands are not his only body part that is ginormous.

    Comment by Jessica — October 25, 2008 @ 7:03 pm

  9. Binky: Maybe I’m missing something, but how do beets fit into a conversation about burgers and massive hands?

    Jessica: Damn. Can’t believe it took this long for someone to go there. TMI! 😉

    Comment by bettyjoan — October 26, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

  10. Bettyjoan, I am disappointed you allowed Hammer into our city without permission.

    Comment by Phil — October 26, 2008 @ 8:42 pm

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