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).