Bar Burger in Atlanta - George's, Max Lager's, Gordon Biersch, ?
Visiting Atlanta next week, first time, two night stay. Will be at either the Hyatt Regency downtown or the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, looking for a great bar/burger... ideally a great bar with a great burger attached. For a burger bar I'm nearer the dive end than the high end. Used to love McHale's in NYC, if that helps. Like the look of Holeman and Finch but not sure that jetlag will keep me up until burger call at 10pm.
Buckhead seems to be quite 'corporate', which isn't really my thing - Gordon Biersch makes the list because it's very close to the GH in Buckhead. I understand that downtown isn't great, but the HR/Max Lager combo is very neat if the burger is worth it. George's seems like the closest to my ideal (ie neighbourhood bar with good burger) but not sure about getting there... easy ?
Any suggestions on the relative merit of these three, or any other options, gratefully appreciated.
This will be on Monday night btw
The Vortex (outstanding burgers and the dive you are looking for). There is one in midtown. This is truly an Atlanta experience.
The Brickstore in Decatur has a great burger and it's arguably the best beer bar in town.
The food at Gordon Biersch is mediocre to bad, and I have never been to George's or Max Lagers.
Second the Vortex. If not for anything else other than the myriad types of burgers (my fav is the "Elvis" w/ peanut butter, banana & bacon). Good tator tots (don't bother with the fries), and a good beer selection too. It's also just one of the familiar faces of Atlanta.
George's is also good, and I've thought that the burgers themselves tend to be better there from a quality of meat/cooked as specified perspective. The neighborhood around George's, Va-Hi, is also a lot of fun and has lots of other bars if you're wanting something like that.
If you don't want corporate-feeling than stay away from GB (though I do love their garlic-drenched fries).
Just by way of warning, since it's been mentioned 2x, the Vortex offers you a free waft of cigarette smoke with your order. They went all-bar when the City passed the smoking ordinance so that they could avoid the restrictions. Great burger, limited interest due to smoking and no-under-18-Chowpups allowed. Your interest may vary.
Even before I finished reading your post, my first thought was "Vortex". I have to chime in with the crowd that it meets your "dive bar with a good burger" requirement. If it helps mitigate the smoke issue, I THINK the midtown location has outdoor seating on nice nights (but that would be worth confirming before you make your final choice).
I've heard a lot about Vortex but from what I've heard, it's not my style. I have been to George's and I love the burgers there. But the meat is what makes a burger for me. Peanut butter and bananas make a sandwich but not a burger. Blue Cheese is for salads. Guess I'm old school. If you are hungry and can't make up your mind get two small (5 oz.) burgers with different ingredients. The onions, tomatos and lettuce are fresh.
If you like onion rings those are favories there.