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When we planned to visit Atlanta several months ago, I sent out a plea on one of the yahoo groups I belong to asking for some recommendations of what we should or could do in the city. One of the suggestions I received over and over was to eat at The Varsity, the world’s largest drive-in restaurant. Though we planned to go several times, we just hadn’t made it. Until today. And it was worth the wait. Visible as soon as you exit I-85, the famous red V icon beckons you.
Around back, a delivery truck was unloading. According to the brochure, that’s only one of three or four that arrive throughout the day guaranteeing that only the freshest ingredients are used to prepare the treats that are served to thousands of visitors a day. Check out these facts: 2 miles of hot dogs, 2500 pounds of potatoes, 300 gallons of chili, and 3000 pounds of onions are devoured each day at The Varsity!
Stepping inside, you’ll see the wall of fame, a collage of notable Who’s Who that has eaten the world famous cuisine/fare. Elvis, our favorite redneck Jeff Foxworthy, Ryan Seacrest and Presidents Carter, Bush and Clinton, have all darkened the threshold of this landmark.
Instantly you’ll hear the famous What’ll ya Have, What’ll ya Have bellowing from the food service workers waiting to introduce you to the taste of a Naked Dog, Rings or famous F.O. Yes, The Varsity even has a lingo all their own. The service is quick and well practiced. It’s clear to see how they could serve 30,000 people on game days.
Fascinated with the diner decor (our favorite part of the experience), we chose a window booth on the upper floor overlooking the parking lot where we had a magnificent view of downtown Atlanta.
The fries and onion rings were so delicious, we ordered a second time. I’ve not ever eaten greasy rings like them nd they sure were yummy. The F.O. or Frosted Orange was like drinking a push-up, the first few sips were yummy, but after that the tangy sweetness was a bit much. My husband didn’t care for the chili on the hot dogs, comparing it to Skyline Chili (not our favorite) and though my kids loved the burgers, it was certainly the onion rings that got our vote for favorite menu item served at our table.
So, if you find yourself passing through the Atlanta area, don’t pass up an opportunity to eat at the World Famous Varsity, if nothing else, just to check out the decor and sample the onion rings! Just be sure to grab a napkin or two on the way to your table.
Have you been to The Varsity? What was your favorite part of the experience?