The Varsity is an Atlantan institution. You can read up on its history on Wikipedia or The Varsity's website.
But I think one can get a pretty good feel for its uniqueness just by visiting.
One of the first things I noticed was the car-hop service. This is kind of like a drive-in movie experience, except for fast- food. You park in a spot, someone takes your order and they bring out your order. This was before my time, but I recall some movies/tv-shows referring to restaurants with rollerskating waiter/waitresses. This seems to harken back to that era.
I can't comment on the car-hop service. Given my tendency to spill food during meals and my preference to keep my car clean, I opted to go inside. I also was curious to see the interior anyways.
I went on a Sunday and it was pretty crowded. And by crowded, I mean there must have been 10 or more cashiers and I think I waited around 10 to 15 minutes in line.
|When I ended up sort near the front of the line|
As for the food, well, it was somewhat intellectually interesting, but not something would recommend by itself.
The cheeseburger was probably what you might expect McDonald's to turn out if they had chili burgers. The beef patty and buns were about the cheap quality stuff that you might expect from a fast-food joint.
Chili hot dog
The dog was semi interesting, only because they added mustard to it. Yes, it's not interesting if it was just a plain ol hot dog, but the mustard and chili combined almost tasted like an Americanized curry. Almost.
Dripping in oil, the rings had a very very thin, chruncy shell. Shrug, freshly fried, you can't deny they have a lot of turnover, but uber oily onion rings, you probably can get a lot of places.
Varsity Orange drink
Tasting like an orange soda (like orange crush), except not carbonated and tasting as if it had real sugar or something besides corn syrup to sweeten it. Definitely tastes sweeter on the front end.
Fried Peach pie
My first thought was that this was the precursor to McDonald's Apple pie. Same kind of hot-pocket like crust with fruit inside. This one slightly better quality everything, from peaches to crust, but still fast-foody style pie.
Certainly, this was an interesting place and the entire experience seemed to recall what I imagine what it was like to go to a fast-food joint in the 50's. I do not think I would recommend going for the food alone, but if you do find yourself intrigued a bit by the history, it may be a worthwhile one-time visit.
61 North Avenue Atlanta GA 30308 (Map)
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