The Varsity - Georgia Aquarium - The Vortex - Big Pie In The Sky Pizza

Saturday March 28th, 2009

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Traveled to Atlanta by rental car from Florida.   Headed to The Varisty first for a breakfast of champions.  The Varsity opened at 10am and there were quite a few people ordering food at this time.  What'll Ya Have!!!

The Varsity is a landmark.  In the 2nd picture is a Chili Cheeseburger, Chili Cheese Dog, and Onion Rings.   The rings are the best, the seasoning of the batter can only be found at the Varsity.  They have a sweet taste that dissolves in the mouth followed by a pepper flavor.    There's a story out there that Elvis once sent a leer jet from Graceland to Atlanta to pick up an order from The Varsity and fly it home.   I believe it.  

Next up on my tour, was the Georgia Aquarium, the largest in the world.

In the first picture is what you see at the entrance.   In the 2nd picture is a bunch of stuffed animals near the gift shop, which is also the exit.   In pictures 3-5 is what the main area looks like.  In the 5th picture the wall panels change color.  

The attractions are set up around the main lobby like stores.    This is the first attraction which has many aquarium windows with different fish.  In the 3rd picture, it's lunch.  

This is the main attraction, the largest aquarium in the world.   A people mover travels through a tunnel.   Overhead are all kinds of things to look at.    Everyone is wowed looking at everything.  

Here's the highlight of the visit.   A window bigger than a movie screen.   It looks like watching a movie, but it's real.   In pictures 2-4 is a whale shark, it's huge.   Many people sit in front of the window, just like watching a movie.  Others stand up against it looking up in awe.

Next up on my trip, was a visit to The Vortex.  This restaurant was featured on the Travel Channel show Man V Food.

They have two locations, one downtown, and one in Little 5 Points.   This is the location that was featured on the TV show.   Because they let people smoke, you have to be over 18 to enter.   No one was smoking while I was there, so it really isn't a problem.     In pictures 3-4 are shots of the inside, it's not that big.  They do have a patio outside with more tables.  In picture 5 is what I had, a Black and Spicy burger (Cajun spices, blackened, roaster red pepper, pepper jack cheese).   How did it taste?    Awesome. 

Now we move on to another restaurant featured on Man V Food, Big Pie in the Sky Pizza.

What's so funny about this place, is it's just a pizza joint in a Publix shopping center.   In fact, it's about 20 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.  In other words, you have to go looking for it.  Yet, here I was after driving 650 miles.    I've got a Publix shopping center 1 mile from my home in South Florida, and it also has a pizza joint that serves special slices.      The difference is the pizzas here come in a size 30".    

In pictures 1-3 are what the place looks like on the inside.  The size of the room isn't that big, in fact many people were picking up orders.   Most order the Carnivore pizza and share it with a group of friends.   In picture 4 is a news paper article.  In picture 5 is a diagram showing how big a 30" pizza is.  In picture 6 is an ordinary table with a couple chairs near the front counter.   But what they put on this table is anything but ordinary.   This is the challenge table where the Carnivore is served.  2 people, 11 pounds, 1 hour.   

Most people order the Carnivore (Pepperoni, Ground Beef, Italian Sausage, Ham and Bacon) and share it with a group.  

I was still full from my lunch at The Vortex, so I ordered 3 slices to go.  In picture 1 is a West Coast Pesto slice (Romano, Pesto, Cream Cheese and Chicken).   In picture 2 is a slice of Cheeseburger (Ground Beef, Bacon, Sharp Cheddar, Onions and Fresh Tomatoes), I substituted green pepper for the bacon.    Back in my room, I ate the pesto and Cheeseburger slices.   How did they taste, excellent.   Look at picture 2, both slices take up an entire box, and that's a large box.   That means 2 slices are the equivalent of a regular pizza anywhere else.   I ate the two slices and I was stuffed.   For the Carnivore Challenge, you'd have to eat 4 slices and they're piled high with even more toppings.  No wonder no one has finished the challenge.    A few have eaten their share, but a team is yet to do it.   I'm sure Joey Chestnut could eat the entire thing, but for now the challenge is still there, maybe that makes it better for everyone else.   The mystique is still there until Joey decides to show up.   

End of Report.   Thanks for reading. 

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