Atlanta, GA – The Vortex

The Vortex,  Atlanta, GA, has been on my “must………..stop………………eat”  list for a long time.  Underground whispers, street rumors,  gossip have long been around about the famous “Double Coronary Bypass Burger”,  a legend if there ever was one.   One-half pound of sirloin, topped with two fried eggs,  four slices of America Cheese,  five slices of bacon, and the bun?   Glad you asked.  A singular delicious grilled cheese sandwich taking the place of each bun half.  Yep, two grilled cheese sandwiches for buns.

Confronted with the option of devouring this monster, could I?  Would I?  Should I?    Well, turns out at the last moment, someone said “try and onion rings”, and I knew I couldn’t do the Double and the rings at the same sitting, and when would I be here again?

So it was the ordinary Coronary Bypass Burger, which forgoes the grilled cheese(s) for a regular bun, is missing one fried egg, 1 strip of bacon, and 1 slice of american processed cheese food.

It was incredible.   And nice pickle!

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Vortex Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Atlanta, GA – Central City Tavern

Anytime a restaurant stewardess tells me “Sure, y’all can substitute tater tots for fries”,  I’m happier than a pig who’s been rejected for the BBQ pit.   Central City Tavern was no except;  while they offered a variety of semi-uniquely decorated burgers, I opted for the blue cheese, which had a nice mix of dressing and seriously chunky real blue cheese.   Most curiously, bacon was NOT an add-on, in fact, there was no bacon on the menu at all.   Non-distinctive bun, fine, just nothing special.

It was a great burger, not in my top 10, but certainly the best burger I had in Atlanta that day. Great pickle spear!

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Slidell, LA – RaceTrac Gas Station

RaceTrac Petroleum is a chain of  over 500 gas stations across the southeastern US.  Like many retail chains, RaceTrac has discovered the beauty and profitability of “house brands,”  and has followed suit with their ready to heat and ready to eat sandwiches.   The RaceTrac double cheeseburger, 5.5 ounces, and 99 cents,  exceeds the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder is taste, appearance, and value.   All that stands between you and a late night gas station burger fix is 30 seconds in the microwave.   RaceTrac’s microwaves are even idiot-proof, with pre-programmed settings for the various sandwiches.

RaceTracs have a great condiment bar, so you can dress  your burger to your liking.

Only had my fone with me this nite, so photos are reflective of that!

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Portland, Or – Capitol Highway Deli Market

Off the Meaten Path

At first blush, your fear is probably that  this is going to be a non-meat story.  T’aint so.   It is, however, about an “alternative” burger, one that might be as close as your corner, like it is mine.

Pre-cooked somewhere west of  Wherethehellisthat? Ohio, flash-frozen (one hopes)  and shipped to a corner mini mart, office vending machine, or aircraft carrier near you,  the Big Az burger with processed American cheese slice, boasts a full 9.65 ounces of flavor on a sesame seed bun, all  for less than $3.

It comes sans condiments, allowing you to decorate at your whim.   My choice, as pictured, is pickle, onion, mustard.  And some potato by-product from Lay’s that I had around the house.   If you think the bun looks kinda squished, you’re right.   My fault.

This particularly delicious delight requires some home preparation, obviously.   I get the best results by doing the bun and patty separately, or at least for different lengths of time.  Your mileage may vary.

I know, I know, you’re asking “gwailo, how did you discover such a tasty morsel?”    Well, you see kids, my significant better 2/3rds doesn’t care for ground beef, in any form or fashion, so I am compelled to seek the manna of the gods outside of my domestic environs.  My connection for the Big Az is the corner liquor store, @ Pomona and Capitol Highway,  spitting distance from my house.   To reduce my carbon footprint, I limit my burgers to those within walking distance.

And avoid places that promise “locally harvested sustainable beef.”   I abstain from sustain.   I won’t be on the planet long enough to care.

I know you are dubious.   But these are honestly better than any fast food burgers, with the exception of Fatburger and In N Out, both of which have not graced Portland with their presence.  It has always struck me as odd that Fatburger is owned by a Portland company, but doesn’t have an outlet here.

Perhaps a tea party is in order?

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