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Oct/Nov 2005

Blitzing Hunger
A Game Plan for Good Eats
by Keri Smith

The Vasity is an Atlanta tradition where sports is a bonus.
Lick your finger and stick it in the air...wait for it, wait for it. If your personal barometer is on its mark, an exciting reality has just been confirmed: a busy sports season is underway. Don't worry if you don't have tickets to the games, Atlanta's sports-themed restaurants are plentiful. This season, if you want a game day with good drinks, even better food, a charged atmosphere and, most importantly, a great view of the television, tackle some of these venues.

The Varsity
First rule of eating at The Varsity: know the lingo. Phrases like "what'll ya' have" and "naked dog walkin'" have kept lines of customers flowing since 1928. A casual hangout, The Varsity's downtown location is a block away from Georgia Tech and is stomping grounds for Yellow Jacket fans and many other home state teams. Most menu items, including hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings, shakes and the famous Frosted Orange are below $2, ideal for a family of fans. Grab your tray and find a seat in front of any of the many TVs, or have a '50s flashback and let a carhop bring you your order while you catch the game on the radio. 61 North Avenue. Call 404-881-1706 or visit for other locations.

Dantanna's is a five-star sports bar.
The Dantanna's game day experience combines five-star cuisine with exclusivity similar to having a private box at your favorite game, especially for those who want to catch the Falcons games on Sundays. The restaurant also provides seating in reserved sections or in private rooms that include a flat screen TV and wireless Internet-the perfe ct setting for business gatherings or parties. The delectable menu boasts a variety of appetizers, soups and salads, and entrees ranging from fish tacos to whole Maine lobster. 3400 Around Lenox Dr., 404-760-8873 or

The Bucket Shop Cafe
Calling all Auburn fans: your game day retreat has been located. The Bucket Shop, across from Lenox Square Mall, attracts fans of the 2004 SEC champions, as well as Redskins fans. The 35¢-wings, offered every day from 5-7 p.m., are popular, as are the appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers and entrées. Football games can be viewed on TVs from every angle, customers pull up bar stools for draft beers, and a jukebox and Golden Tee golf video game provide entertainment during commercials and time-outs. 3475 Lenox Rd., 404-261-9244 or

Jocks & Jills
In 1987, when a TBS announcer and several Atlanta Hawks players collaborated to establish Jocks & Jills Sports Grill at 10th and Peachtree Streets, they scored big. Two of the current eight Jocks & Jills locations opened on Super Bowl Sundays, launching a combination of sports entertainment and great food with atmosphere. A menu of seafood, steaks, salads and more gratify every appetite. The casual dining space bordered with dozens of TVs is extremely family friendly. Reservations are available if your alumni group needs a place to meet for the game, or you can submit a request online for private parties. 112 10th Street. Call 404-873-5405 or visit for other locations.

Famous Pub & Sports Palace
Just around the corner from Emory University, Famous Pub & Sports Palace has an undeniable college ambiance and attitude, with an elevated appreciation for Sunday night football. Carefree and casual, the pub is an ultimate getaway for laidback spectators, and also offers trivia, video games and pool/billiards. Famous Pub features more than 15 beers on tap and the menu complements the atmosphere with simple favorites, such as hot wings, for both appetizer and entrée options. 2947 North Druid Hills Rd., 404-633-3555.

The ESPN Zone is the perfect place to eat for any sports enthusist.
Digger's Sports Grill
Whether it is a NASCAR race, PGA tour or a Braves game, Digger's Sports Grill knows the trick to drawing large crowds. The restaurant is a favorite for Gator fans on Saturdays, as well as fans of engaging games of Texas Hold 'Em or team trivia. The Digger's atmosphere is that of a classic sports bar, but the menu ushers in creativity with options such as warm cashew chicken salad, puff pastry potpie, teriyaki tuna kabob and an assortment of sweets such as caramel pie or homemade cobbler. 8540 Roswell Rd. Call 770-587-2005 or visit for other locations.

A theme park for adult sports fans, The Walt Disney Company-owned ESPN Zone's amenities include more than 150 TVs, a screening room where fans gather to watch an array of televised, worldwide sporting events in reclining leather chairs, and the ESPN Zone Art, where sports memorabilia and sport-themed art is displayed. In the sports arena, patrons can enjoy interactive, competitive games such as MoCap Boxing, ESPN Bowling and Daytona Special. Local sports station 680 The Fan hosts "Guys Night Out" on Tuesdays and holds an open forum to discuss worldwide sports. If visitors can pull themselves away from the attractions, the Studio Grill serves pesto-encrusted grilled salmon, sun-dried tomato penne pasta and New York strip steak among their many entrees. 3030 Peachtree Rd., 404-682-3776 or

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