A surprise on The Varsity’s menu, and what comes next

Guess which is currently on the menu (and has been for years) at The Varsity, Atlanta’s iconic chili dog palace:

— Fish fillet sandwich

— Barbecue

— Garden salad

Answer: Garden salad. Even regular diners I talked to were surprised and befuddled when I pointed out my discovery. The Varsity, after all, has survived 86 years offering a menu focused primarily on greasy fare like chili dogs, burgers, onion rings and fries, even as some rivals have expanded into lighter fare.

Now, the mom and two kids whose family founded The Varsity chain are contemplating big changes, just weeks after closing their Alpharetta location.

But don’t expect a dramatic shift in the menu to be part of the changes, said Gordon Muir, The Varsity’s president and grandson of founder Frank Gordy. Muir said they might add a salad or two and delve into more seasonal items.

What has grabbed more of his focus is how and where to develop more restaurants. Check out what Muir and a brother-in-law are aiming for, in my latest Unofficial Business column on myajc.com.

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