Thursday, January 8, 2009

Germany & Austria Part I



January 6, 2009 13:41 - Crucial first part of the trip to Germany and Austria has been accomplished. I had my first meal at The Varsity in downtown Atlanta. Key planning put me into Atlanta with a four hour layover before flying out to Frankfurt, plenty of time to grab lunch. A 20 minutes ride on the MARTA train from the airport to the North Avenue stop put me within a 3 minute walk to The Varsity, the worlds largest drive-in. If you haven’t been, they have been family owned since 1928 and the place covers two acres of land.   On a Georgia football day, they serve 30,000 customers and over two miles of hotdogs,  300 gallons of chili, 5,000 fried pies and they are the worlds largest Coca-Cola outlet.

I already knew what I wanted as I approached the shiny stainless steel counter tops. The row of red paper boat-hat cashiers were waiting for customers as they filed in. When a cashier has a pause with no line in front of them, they start to yell out the signature “what’ll ya have? what’ll ya have?” That’s your cue to jump up and shout your order. I went with the combo deal of: chili cheese dog, chili cheese burger, F.O. (don’t call it a frosted orange), fries, and hot fried apple pie.
About three minutes later, I took my red tray back to an open table, gathered plenty of napkins and sat down with the bountiful goodness. These are actually small portions and I can see why someone with a bigger appetite would order two or three burgers at a time. They are only slightly larger than a “slider” which is about two bites. I grabbed the gynormous squeeze bottle of ketchup on the table and slathered the fries before digging in. The Varisty experience was enriching and girthening.

The burger was not a thick and juicy medium rare, but more of wafer thin disc on a soft bun with the heavily cumin laden chili. The hot dog was all beef, but one of the skinny weenies on a soft bun with chili and a slice of american cheese. The FO was a tall cup of orange creamsicle which had to thaw enough before I could consume and the fries were luke warm and a few of them a little under done. None-the-less, don’t get me wrong I loved it and just being there goes a long way. The apple pie was a miniature calzone of gooey apple filling with a chunk or two of apple and very oily from the deep frying experience, but it went down easily and happily. As I sat and let the FO thaw to a slush I decided I had to go back for a side of onion rings and these were fantastic. Large rings, very thin tempura like batter and now I felt complete. The rings were the final piece leaving me happy and fond of my Varsity experience as I rode MARTA back to the airport. Now onto Frankfurt... To be continued. - Salamanzar

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