Although I had heard about it for years, in all the times I have been to Atlanta , I had never made time to visit the Varsity. I was there last week, and oh, so many years wasted.
For the unwashed, the Varsity is the world’s largest hot dog stand. Covering two acres in downtown , with parking for 600 cars, and seating for 1200, the Varsity has been dishing up dogs, burgers, fries, rings, and their famous “Frosted Orange” beverage since 1928 under the watchful eye of Frank Gordy and his descendents.
Initially operating under the name “The Yellow Jacket, Gordy served hot dogs and bottled Coca-Cola (what else in Atlanta ?) to Georgia Tech students. Not wishing to limit his clientele to one particular school, the name change came shortly thereafter, along with the move to the present location.
When you sidle up to the counter, and hear the famous cry from the clerks: “What’ll ya have, what’ll ya have?” it helps to know the proper retort. There’s much more, but this will get you past the basics of ordering:
Hot Dog: Hot dog with chili and mustard
Heavy weight: Same as hot dog but with extra chili
Naked Dog: Plain hot dog in a bun
MK Dog: Hot dog with mustard and ketchup
Regular C Dog: Hot dog with chili, mustard and ketchup
Red Dog: Ketchup only
Yellow Dog: Mustard only
Yankee Dog: Same as a yellow dog
Walk a Dog (or Steak): Hot dog to go
Steak: Hamburger with mustard, ketchup, and pickle
Chili Steak: Hamburger with Varsity chili
Glorified Steak: Hamburger with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato
There are 5 locations these days . But the original is the place for the complete Varsity experience. Bring the kids, but not much money. A meal at the Varsity is well under five bucks. Unless you order like I do.