Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Invisible Man Strikes the Varsity Restaurant!

The above illustration is on a tee-shirt by Georgian artist Jack Davis. It is of all the famous people who have eaten at The Varsity Drive-In in Atlanta, which claims to be the “World’s Largest Drive-In. The Varsity in Kennesaw is not a Drive-In, no car hops.

I have been ignored at fast food places at the ordering counter, but you would think it is hard to be ignored at a drive-through window, but I managed.

Today I was shopping near the Kennesaw Cobb Center area of Cobb County and thought it would be nice to change my routine and have an old fashion Varsity chili/slaw hotdog and their delicious onion rings. I planned on carrying my Varsity meal home, so I drove up to the drive-in speaker and ordered, a young lady told me the price and I drove up to the window. The lady told me the price again and held out her change. I gave her a five dollar bill and she “ching” her cash register, counted out the change very efficiently and shut the window.

I patiently waited for my hotdog and onion rings.

In my rearview mirror I saw a car order at the squawk box and drive up slowly behind me.

The lady, again popped the door opened held out her hand and said, “Four dollars and 37 cents please.” That was about 70¢ more than what I paid. I just looked blankly at her.

She double-focused on me and let out an embarrassed giggle. Then she said a bunch of words in Spanish that was broken up in giggles. She thought she had already gave me my food when she took my money. It was still sitting by the window.

She apologized and gave me my red and white Varsity cardboard box. I told her that was ok, it happens all the time.

Hey! Did I tell you the time I was the only survival left off my father’s obituary?

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Blogger kenju said...

Hmmmm......Eddie....we have to figure out why you are invisible. You need to wear red and speak up more often.....LOL

11:05 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I wear red a lot. But every time I tried to speak up I am looked at like I was some kind of irritant, like a gnat.

1:04 PM  
Blogger deborah wilson said...

Varsity chili dogs!


4:01 PM  
Blogger ET said...


I had a hard time deciding between a Varsity chili hotdog and a Brandi's World Famous spicy chili dog - then I remembered the last time I had a Brandi's I had a stomach burn for two days.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Your talent is impressive.

6:04 PM  
Blogger deborah wilson said...

I don't recall Brandi's...

My Mom said that back in the 50's there was a place in Atlanta on North Ave called "The Yellow Jacket". She said they made the best hot dogs in the world. It went out of business at some point between 1967 and 1970.

6:19 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I missed my calling, I should rob banks for a living.

I remember the Yellow Jacket. It was on the other side of North Avenue from Tech. They had one curb-person who was famous for citing the ice cream favors.. he did it in a singing fashion... people would tip him just to hear the ice cream menu.... it was as politically incorrect as the young fellow at Aunt Fanny's Cabin hollering the menu there.
Brandi bought Betty's World Famous Hotdogs from Betty when she retired at age 71. And she also bought the famous chili recipe. Brandi's World Famous Hotdogs is on Church Street Extension, north of Kennestone Hospital in the Elizabeth Community. Years ago the same building was the Mable Inn, that sold sloppy joe style bbq sandwiches on sesame-seed buns.

2:29 AM  
Anonymous hog's head cheese said...

Anyone remember the Blue Jacket that was in the West End/Lee St. area? Their chili dogs were a Varsity/Yellow Jacket facsimile. It was also a drive-in. The Hunt's Ice Cream/Economy (back to the 50's/60's) restaurant on West Atlanta St.in Marietta used to have some chili dogs that would compete with all of them.

5:11 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Hog's Head Cheese,
What a great name! I think I remember eating hog's head cheese before... it is the pig's brains mixed with all kinds of spices. Good eating!
I don't remember the Blue Jacket in West End/Lee street area. The only thing I remember is Duncan Donuts, Sears, Chandler Harris's home "The Wren's Nest", and Miller's Sinclair Station and Tire Company.
But I do remember Hunt's Ice Cream and the Economy - which, by the way, both were owned by the Hunt family. You are right, they both had delicious chili dogs and chili burgers that was probably as good as The Varsity's and Brandi's. What I never could figure out was why the Economy was manned (if that is the right word) by elderly women and Hunts were manned by younger women.
I have commented on Hunts several times in this blog... someplace back there.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous hog's head cheese said...

I thought maybe I was talking through my a** about the Blue Jacket but alas! I actually found 2links with pictures.



6:19 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Hog's Head,

Well, there it is! It looks like the same photo at both sites.

Correction: I said I remember Duncan Donuts in West End. I meant to say Krispy Kreme. In high school when we needed money we went down to the KK place early on Saturday mornings and pick up a bunch of dozen boxes and sell them on street corners and house to house... we told people we were selling for a high school organization... we were a bunch of slime balls.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous hog's head cheese said...

I had the honor of selling Krispy Kremes door to door in the Clay Homes, and other apartment complexes in Marietta. I also got talked in to selling the renowned Grits Newspaper, and handing out flyers for Johnny Walker's on the square. Just some of my early training. Guess that's why I stayed out of sales. Woops! did not mean to start a thread here.

6:58 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I lived in the Clay Homes from age 1 to age 7. It is gone forever now.

7:49 AM  
Blogger deborah wilson said...

I remember Hunt's!

Does anyone remember the Shrimp Boat that use to sit in front of Belmont Hills Shopping Center back in the 60's? I've been searching for a pic of the shrimp boat but I haven't been able to find one on-line.

8:02 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I don't remember the Shrimp Boat at Belmont Hills but I do remember the 12 Oaks Restaurant that was there when they first opened Belmont Hills.

But I do remember a Shrimp Boat at Town and Country Shopping Center, about where the Psycho Tattoo place is now, and next to it was a trampoline place, with trampolines over holes in the ground. Then, I think the Shrimp Boat moved down Roswell Road and across the street to East Marietta Shopping Center.
At East Marietta Shopping Center there was a Pizza or Italian restaurant and that is the first place I ever eaten pizza. Mama Mia!

8:22 AM  
Anonymous hog's head c. said...

Yes! It was probably the first restaurant in the area that sold Pizza. It was Rousso's Pizza and I went there on weekends with my friends. I also had my first Pizza there.

9:08 AM  
Blogger ET said...


That's right! Roussou's!
Do I know you behind your mask?

9:20 AM  
Anonymous hog's head c. said...

You busted me! Heh, Heh
You and I have communicated a good bit. I prefer to minimize putting my name on Websites because the FBI spent a good bit of money hiding me. JUST KIDDING
You just emailed me. I did not know S R. The family name is not familiar. All is OK over here. Hope you and yours are well.
By the way over here they use Boston Butt roasts + seasonings to make the head cheese. No more strange parts (I hope).

9:36 AM  
Blogger ET said...


Gocha! Or you got me. I didn't suspect you, but possibly one of two other friends.... but I knew I had to know you - we had been at the same places about the same time.... all we are are electronic ghosts sending messages now.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous David Cook said...



Been many a year, but this was my FATHER'S business. I remember my dad getting me up @ 4AM and riding out to the place where he shoved me into the kitchen and said, "Here's today's menu. Be ready"... I was 10 at the time. (1964)


This image is from a few years before, mid 50's.

The Blue Jacket was located between "The Point" liquor store (corner of Lee and Whitehall) and Joe Cotton's, across McCall's Crossing from ABBEY STEAM WORKS (my uncle Ted)

There were also 2 out buildings, one of which was the 'beer house', an accessory beer bar, the other being the car-hop's 'shack'... no fancy intercom ordering, but you could have your order taken and delivered to your car.

The BLUE JACKET was closed in the late 70's and the property sold to the City. The location is now the WEST END MARTA station.

Owner Grover Cook became Gen. Mgr. of Food Services and Distribution for Stone Mountain Park, where he administered all the snack bars and vending (other than the Stone Mtn Inn Restaurant) for the attractions.

I think that covers it all.

5:17 AM  
Anonymous Arthur King said...

The Yellow Jacket was on North Ave across from the Coca Cola Bldg. I worked at Master Mfg Co, 426 Luckie St and would go to Yellow Jacket for food for everyone in plant. Down Luckie to then dead end at North ave near Tech then left at North ave, drive in on right for huge cardboard box of hotdogs. Best Hotdog ever made. Now only George the Greek at The Olympic Flame on Marietta Blvd has the recipe with the Yellow Jacket on off Fairview Rd at East ATlanta Rd in Dekalb County coming close. Then Then a BBQ on thornton road near Maxell rd Austell mmmmgood

2:25 PM  

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