The Best Cheeseburger of My LifeBy Todd • May 21st, 2009 • Category: Burger Blog
“…because it’s never too late to start wasting your life.”
That’s the motto at The Vortex Bar & Grill in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s in a funky little neighborhood called Little Five Points (L5P to the locals). Think tattoos and piercings, Chuck Taylors and Doc Martens, skateboards and Harleys, punk rock and goth chic. You’ll know The Vortex by the 20-foot-tall skull you have to walk through to get inside.
Yeah, it’s kind of a landmark. But The Vortex is especially known around Atlanta for a few other things: the smoking-hot biker-girl wait staff, the 6-page liquor menu, and burgers that have consistently been ranked the best in the city for 17 years.
The menu features 20 different burgers, including gut-busting highlights like The Great Big Jerk, The Yokohama Mama, The Spanish Fly, and what was long considered the crown jewel, The Coronary Bypass. The impromptu creation of a hungover waiter (at least that’s what he told me one day), it features 3 slices of American cheese, 4 strips of bacon, mayo… and a fried egg! The menu’s description ended with the editorial comment, “You must have lost your mind.” For years, it was as perfect as a cheeseburger got for me.
And then they changed the menu.
At first, I feared that a group of overzealous health nuts might have infiltrated the Vortex and banned the Bypass, leaving me with nothing more than a spare tire, a few extra cholesterol points, and some fond memories of The Best Cheeseburger of My Life (B.C.O.M.L. from now on).
Nope. It got better. In late 2007, The Vortex unveiled The Double Coronary.
You’re looking at The Vortex’s usual one-half pound of sirloin with lettuce and onion, now topped with 4 slices of American cheese, 5 strips of bacon, and 2 fried eggs. In only the slightest show of restraint, the mayo is served on the side. But here comes the kicker. Instead of buns, The Double Coronary is served between… wait for it… TWO GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES!!!!!!!!
I’ll wait while you mop up that puddle of drool on your mouse pad.
It is literally a jaw-dropping burger. But it’s also exceptionally good. Unlike a lot of “extreme” cheeseburgers that are topped with crazy things just for the sake of being crazy, The Double Coronary actually tastes good. Amazing, in fact. Granted, I wasn’t hungry again for 24 hours, but I never felt like I had eaten some wacky experiment that was assembled just to get mentioned on websites like this one.
Now, don’t get me wrong: at 13 bucks, it would be an expensive daily habit… not to mention a dangerous one. But when I want the ultimate cheeseburger experience, there’s simply no other place, and no other choice.
There are lot of cheeseburgers out there, and I’m always up for trying a new one just about anywhere. But until further notice, this is the standard against which all others will be judged. Behold The Double Coronary. B.C.O.M.L.
So, what was the best cheeseburger of your life?