What’ll Ya Have? The Varsity!

The Southerner

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By Sophie Durham

The smell of grease and fried food hit me in the face as soon as I walked through the double doors. I figured my body would hate me for what I was about to do, but the aroma coming from the kitchen was too enticing to pass up. “I’ll have a ‘Steak All the Way’ with Strings and an F.O.,” I said with a guilty smile. The cashier smiled back. He could tell this was my first time there. “You’re gonna love it,” he assured me. He wasn’t kidding. The Varsity may not be a gourmet restaurant, but it’s a meal you don’t want to miss if you’re in Atlanta.

Founded in 1928, The Varsity has evolved from a 70-foot by 120-foot lot into a two-story building with a 500-car parking lot and the world’s longest drive-through. Now with eight other locations, The Varsity has hosted people from all walks of life, including presidents and famous athletes, and can even cater other events. It is an Atlanta tradition. Known for its mouthwatering hamburgers and amazing onion rings, almost any local would recommend it. The staff is great, and the atmosphere of the landmark is incredible.

Before heading over to The Varsity, I checked out their website and decided to brush up on their lingo so I’d know what to order when I got there. The menu is long and expansive, with different nicknames given to all the different items so the cooks can easily identify what they’re making. The “Yankee Dog” is a plain hotdog with mustard; the “Heavy Weight” a hot dog with extra chili. My “Steak All the Way with Strings and an F.O.,” is a burger with ketchup, mustard, and pickles (Steak), with onions (All the Way), a side of fries (Strings), and a Frosted Varsity Orange (F.O.). The F.O. was a deliciously sugary treat that resembles a frosty you’d get from Wendy’s, only 100 times better.

When I first arrived on the grounds, I saw a huge empty parking lot… or so I thought. The drive-through at The Varsity is more like a parking lot, with servers who come round and take your order, and then bring your food to you. It wasn’t as crowded as I predicted, but then again it was the middle of the day on a Tuesday. I walked over to the line of cash registers and placed my order, still trying to adjust to the strong smell. While waiting for my order, I decided to stroll around the building and see what else was there. Besides lots of space and tables, it wasn’t anything over the top. It was very simple and clean, and I had no trouble navigating my way through. After about five minutes, my order was called, and I went back up to the registers to pick it up. After thanking the cashier, I made my way over to a table, picking up a few napkins on the way, and sat down to eat. The first bite I took was amazing, leaving me practically drooling on site. I quickly finished my burger, and moved onto my fries, which were some of the best I’ve had. I couldn’t finish them all, as I was about to burst. I stood up slowly and threw out my trash, taking my Frosted Varsity Orange on the road with me. The staff yelled out their goodbyes on my way out, and I waved back as I left. I was glad to have finally visited one of the best-known restaurants in Atlanta.

The Varsity was even better than I thought it would be, by far the best fast food I’ve had. The staff was engaging, it wasn’t very crowded, and it was located in the heart of Midtown, just a few blocks from my house.

I give The Varsity five out of five stars, and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an awesomely greasy meal at an Atlanta staple. If you go, make sure you get the F.O. with your meal. You won’t regret it… until you step on a scale!

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