Serving Burgers & Booze Since 1992view shopping cart

BURGERS & BAR FOOD

Like an orgy for your tastebuds™

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The Vortex Blog

villian

IT WARMS MY ICY BLACK HEART

Life is too short to tolerate jerks. So when we opened for business, it became my personal mission to educate our customers on acceptable behavior. My main teaching tool was (and still is) a list of house rules called, “Stuff You Really Need To Know.” I didn’t want anyone to overlook them, so I printed them right on the front of our menu. Even though we’ve maintained these no-nonsense policies for well over 20 years, demanding dimwits sometimes still accidently stumble into The Vortex. But the vast majority of our patrons are pretty damn awesome, so my efforts have obviously not been in vain.

The truth is, our loyal fans have always known how to behave appropriately in a bar. They didn’t need our rules for that. But they sure do appreciate the fact that we post them. In fact, they welcome all our efforts to keep The Vortex an official “Idiot-Free Zone,” because it just creates a better experience for everyone. Except for the idiots, of course. Over the years, many of my colleagues in the bar business have personally thanked me for creating this list. No shit. They really have. Anyone that has ever worked in the service industry will totally understand why.

This overwhelming show of appreciation warms my icy black heart. So much so, I plan on producing a new podcast to help keep the conversation going. The podcast, which we’ll call “Tales From The Vortex,” will offer candid discussions on a broad range of topics related to the bar business. We also plan on featuring a wide array of special guests, including servers and bartenders, restaurant owners, chefs, foodies, barflies, local celebrities and all sorts of people who can offer their own unique perspective on the hospitality industry. We hope it becomes another fun outlet to share ridiculous Vortex stories with our fans. Needless to say, drinking while listening will be highly encouraged.

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THE REAL DEAL

In case you haven’t heard, burgers have become the latest victim of foodie flim-flam. Every self-proclaimed taste maker with a social media feed has conspired to turn one of my favorite foods, the humble hamburger, into the apex of hipster gastronomy. I hadn’t given this unfortunate circumstance much thought until recently, when I read a snide comment by a local “food writer.” He suggested that any success The Vortex has enjoyed is only due to the limited competition we faced when we opened back in 1992. Now that a surplus of fashionable designer burgers are clogging up the local haute cuisine scene, he feels that Vortex burgers are no longer worthy of your attention. Not with all the flashy new interpretations available to cram in your pie-hole. Or is it cupcake-hole? I just can’t keep up.

Listen, if you’re a big fan of gastromolecular cuisine, that’s great. Can’t get enough truffle oil in your diet? Good for you. Love to Instagram photos of every damn meal you eat? Sure, that’s kind of annoying, but whatever tickles your pickle. If you fancy yourself some kind of burger connoisseur, I’m not going to argue about it. You should feel free to do whatever you want, and eat whatever you want. But trying to marginalize the genuine article in a cheap attempt to promote overblown, novelty food to urban hipsters is really unnecessary. Not to mention a huge insult to our extremely large and loyal fan base.

The Vortex was one of the first places to introduce high-quality burgers to Atlanta, way back before it was trendy. So while some “hipper-than-thou” critic may be bored with what we do, I can assure him that not everyone feels the same way. The sheer quantity of burgers we sell proves this beyond any doubt. I think the fact that we’ve been doing what we do, quite successfully, for well over 20 years qualifies The Vortex as the god-damned Godfather of Atlanta’s burger culture. While trends (and trendy restaurants) may come and go, the real deal will always stand the test of time. And I can state with confidence, both our burgers and our fans are the real fucking deal.

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CRYING OVER SPILLED BEER

I personally believe if a U.S. citizen is considered responsible enough to vote, enter into legally binding contracts, serve on a jury, and be treated as an adult by our court system, then they should also be able to go to a bar. Unfortunately, the government disagrees with me. Sure, the government thinks 18-year-olds are responsible enough to put on a uniform and serve in the military, but enjoy a tasty local microbrew? Now you’re just advocating anarchy.

At 21, the United States has the highest minimum drinking age of all the industrialized nations on earth. But that’s only because our legislators know what’s best. In fact, their ideas are so good, they’re mandatory. The Vortex does not make these laws, but it’s our job to figure out the best ways to comply, because the livelihood of a whole bunch of really nice people depends on it. That’s why we recently changed to 21-and-over policy for entry. Needless to say, our decision has caused a few tears.

So I’d like to suggest the following options for college students; 1) Suck it up, and wait it out. Sure, it blows. But it’s only three more years, or less. 2) Get yourself a really good fake ID, just like your parents did, or 3) Dry those tears and do a little work. There are several organizations actively seeking to change the minimum drinking age in the United States. They include the National Youth Rights Association, Choose Responsibility, the Amethyst Initiative, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. Use the google machine. Find out more. Get involved. Be the change. That’s a much better use of your time than crying over spilled beer.

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