For some people, New Year's Day is a time of cleansing and fresh starts. For others, it's a hazy, head-pounding puddle of sadness and regret, typically accompanied by overwhelming hunger and a hankering for brunch cocktails. We asked our contributors around the country to tell us their favorite ways to feed their hangovers. Here's what they had to say.
Chicago: Tonkotsu Ramen at Strings Ramen
Lots of cuisines offer hangover cures. Many of them happen to be soup-based, like Mexican menudo or Korean haejangguk. So it's no wonder my favorite hangover food is the Tonkotsu Ramen from Strings Ramen in Chinatown. It's full of rehydrating liquid in the broth, nourishing carbs in the noodles, and the most important part: the fatty goodness of pork belly. Top it off with their soft boiled egg, and you'll be ready to recover with a nice long nap. —Dennis Lee
Philadelphia: Pork Egg Rolls at Grubhouse
Pork roll, as anyone within shouting radius of New Jersey will tell you with nitrate-laden passion, is serious business. The typically Trenton-made breakfast meat is most frequently served between bread, but there are chefs out there who make it a point to play with the pink stuff. Christopher Ritter, of Grubhouse in deep South Philly, goes the Chinese takeout route with his unusual variation, frying diced pork roll, scrambled eggs, and cheddar inside an egg roll wrapper. The rolls are finished with American cheese sauce, scallions and drops of his homemade chili oil. It's salty, crispy, and greasy in the most delightful hangover-bashing sense. —Drew Lazor
New Orleans: Eggs Hussarde at Brennan's
It may fly in the face of science, but runny egg yolks, bread, and butter can really speak to a hangover. The eggs Hussarde at the impressively restored Brennan's of New Orleans answers the craving. It's an assembly of thin slices of salty prosciutto, poached eggs, a thick and creamy hollandaise, marchand de vin (wine merchant's sauce), and a house-made English muffin. The wine sauce is an elevating, deeply meaty demi glace with the clever addition of maitake mushrooms. But it's the airy, tender muffin that makes this one of the most deeply satisfying morning-after fixes around. Brennan's accommodates the casually dressed in the daytime, and luckily offers breakfast daily until 2 p.m. for late risers. —Eric Leath
New York City: The Pizza Al'Uovo at Motorino
Waiting for a table at Motorino at the ungodly hour of 11 a.m. on a Sunday, I could feel the last drops of two-too-many Sazeracs sloshing around in the empty chamber where my brain used to be. Their Pizza Al'Uovo, served only on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., arrives at the table like an angry force, jets of steam shooting from the poofy, leopard-spotted rim, the layer of melted homemade fior di latte bubbling under a slick of dark red chili oil. Their pizzas are never a demure affair, but this guy is about at wild as they come.
If the fat from the mozzarella and chili oil aren't enough for you, you always have the option of breaking the soft yolks of the eggs baked into the top of it, letting their golden yolks ooze and meld with the cheese below. Hunks of smoky pancetta dot the pie, while a dusting of freshly grated Pecorino Romano brings some bite to the party. —J. Kenji Lopez-Alt
San Diego: Spuds Deluxe from Snooze
The Spuds Deluxe from Snooze is a worthy cure for whatever ails you (especially when that whatever is way too much booze). It starts as a pile of hash browns with melted jack and cheddar cheese. From there, you customize it to suit the severity of your symptoms, selecting two toppings from a long list of over 30 options—think leafy greens and fresh veggies all the way to rosemary sausage gravy and pulled pork. My favorite way to go is the beef barbacoa and avocado. It's fatty and savory, but not food-coma-inducing. Add an egg while you're at it; they're only $1 extra. —Erin Jackson
San Francisco: Chilaquiles at San Jalisco
When I'm feeling under the weather, there's no way I'm waiting in line for brunch. Luckily I can stumble down the block to San Jalisco for a giant platter of chilaquiles. It's perfect comfort food, down to the creamy pinto beans. My favorite version, the mellow Chilaquiles Remo, is made with shredded chicken and lots of sour cream, though there's a good version with chorizo and nopales, too. —Maggie Hoffman
Seattle: Pho at Ba Bar
Ba Bar's pho has a number of advantages over other versions in town, especially when it comes to assuaging a hangover: it uses high-quality beef, it's served as early as 8 in the morning, and (most importantly) you can wash it down with a Moscow Mule. They've been cooking the broth since before you started drinking, and have boiled the brisket into submission. The deep, dark flavor from the long-boiled beef bones is layered with a bright infusion of spices that will defog the mind. Soft slurps of the warm soup are a surefire way to quiet the pounding. —Naomi Bishop
Washington, DC: The Luther at GBD's
It's a special thing when something like a fried chicken-doughnut sandwich ceases to raise eyebrows in a city. That's exactly what's happened in DC in the aftermath of a yearlong infatuation with the sweet and savory combination. GBD's "The Luther" was once a Sunday only, off-menu novelty at sister restaurant ChurchKey, but it's since become a staple of the Dupont shop. It's also something you probably don't realize you want until you're hungover and someone utters those four simple words: fried chicken, doughnut, bacon. The Luther is a piece of juicy, fried chicken thigh sandwiched between a maple-chicken jus-glazed brioche doughnut, topped with butter-glazed pecans augmented by slices of slab bacon. It's hearty, filling, greasy, salty, sweet, savory, and, most of all, delicious. It's all the things you'd want in a hangover helper...just not in the combination you knew you wanted them in. —Brian Oh
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