Monday, December 04, 2006

The Varsity in Atlanta, Georgia

Clockwise from right: chili dog, hot wings, and onion rings

No, it wasn't intentional for me to hit two drive-in hot dog institutions two nights in a row. But when one is in Atlanta, one has to go to The Varsity (several locations in the area, but the original is at 61 North Avenue, 404-881-1706). This was quite different...appearance-wise, anyway. Allegedly the world's largest drive-in, this place of course had rows to park and get trays hooked onto the side of your car. But inside the building, it was so cavernous that it almost seemed like a renovated bus depot or something, with a bit long row of cashiers that could have been ticketing counters as well as several random chambers worth' of individual dining rooms that could have been waiting areas.

Anyway, I grabbed a couple basics like a chili cheese dog and onion rings (they were supposed to be huge here), while the hot (buffalo) wings also caught my eye. All of these turned out fine, but I've gotta say that I was a bit let down. Maybe my expectations were too built up (and maybe eating at Hot Doug's in Chicago earlier today raised the bar far too high), but this all just seemed a bit on the ordinary side to me, with a chili dog that couldn't compare to Pink's and onion rings that, while big, didn't blow me off my feet taste-wise. The buffalo wings were better than I was expecting, but that was also just because I had figured that this place wasn't known for its wings, and so I took my expectations down ahead of time. In the end, the food didn't quite do it for me.

I don't regret coming here though. This was definitely an interesting place to see (and hear, for that matter, as they have their own lingo here that they shout around). Maybe I also ordered some of the wrong things, especially since I am getting a bit sick of eating so many hot dogs lately. Well, hey - I guess I can check this off as another restaurant that Bill Clinton and I have both dined at.


Jamie Edwards said...

It is so hard to top Pinks in Hollywood for a chili dog. They are so good, they would probably make a fortune if they franchised that place.

Tucano Bandeirante said...

I lived in Atlanta until February. One of the few good things about that city was the hot dogs at The Varsity. I've never been to Pinks, but it would be hard pressed to have better -- or cheaper -- hot dogs than The Varsity. 2 Chili-Cheese Dogs (no mustard), onion rings and a medium Orange Dream - I'm in heaven!

And Hungryboy -- I'm a BIG fan of this site!!!