Your New Favorite Hangover Foods

May 16, 2024
Dining & Wine
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One thing about me is that, as an undergrad, I attended a large state school with a Division 1 football team. A school that was ranked No. 1 by the Princeton Review on its list of top party colleges in my junior year. A school based in Athens, Ga.

All of this is to say: I’ve had my fair share of hangovers. Back then, my recovery time was six hours instead of the current three to four business days. To mitigate the pain, my friends and I would stumble into the Grill, a diner in the heart of downtown Athens, and order a round or three of crinkle cut fries covered in feta cheese sauce at one in the morning. Or we’d crawl into Mama’s Boy the morning after and fill up on biscuits and sausage gravy.

These were platonic ideals of hangover food — a little greasy, heavy on the carbs and filling enough to set you up for a nice afternoon nap with “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” on low volume in the background. When I moved to New York my tastes changed. I ate more post-rager bacon, egg and cheeses in my early 20s than I care to recount. But the hangover food genre is wide ranging and new classics are popping up all the time.

For instance, the breakfast burritos at Ursula in Bed-Stuy. I ordered nearly a dozen of them for a brunch a few weekends back and watched my friends who’d had a rowdy Saturday night scarf them down in euphoric silence. My favorite is the bacon burrito stuffed with hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, New Mexican Hatch chiles and Cheddar, wrapped in a pliant flour tortilla. I also ordered chorizo burritos and a meatless version for my vegetarian compatriots. (There’s also a vegan version stuffed with pinto beans and vegan queso.)

387A Nostrand Avenue (Madison Street)

A few days later, I accompanied Becky Hughes, a frequent contributor to “Where to Eat,” as she ate her way through viral Tiktok restaurants. I asked her to take me along when she stopped by Datz Deli on the Lower East Side, a mini-chain of Guyanese-Caribbean restaurants — the original Datz is in Hollis, Queens — known for its DatMacPatty.

Hold onto your seats while I describe this thing: mac and cheese wrapped in a crackly patty in pleasantly spongy coco bread. To the uninitiated this may mean very little, but to me, a child of a Jamaican mother, it’s a scientific discovery of Frankensteinian proportions. I ordered the version with shredded oxtail and immediately thought, “this would be great if I were nursing a hangover or trying to avoid one.” And I think they understand that, too, because the Lower East Side location is open until 1 a.m. on weeknights and 3 a.m. on weekends.

190-01 Hollis Avenue (99th Avenue)

69 Clinton Street (Rivington Street)

What of the poorly timed hangover? You know what I’m talking about; the kind of hangover you’ve dealt with when your grandparents were in town or at your niece’s baptism. And both inevitably mean you’ll end up at brunch. If that brunch is Gertrude’s, you’re in for a treat.

On weekends, the restaurant serves a $90 “grand appetizing” tower with all the fixings. Before you roll your eyes at the price tag, know that it’s for two people and $45 for a nice brunch in New York City is a downright deal. The tower includes four oysters with beet mignonette, pastrami-lox, smoked sable and bluefish roe, cream cheese, tomato, thinly sliced red onions, capers, cucumbers, pickled vegetables, latkes and your choice of two bagels or two bialys. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect complement to all the shades of being hung over, from “I can’t even look at a Bloody Mary” to “I would eat anything put in front of me.”

Of course, you don’t have to be hung over to enjoy any of the above. But it’s good to have options in your back pocket for the next time you go a little overboard with the martinis.

605 Carlton Avenue (St. Marks Avenue)

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