Waking up after a late night of drinking can feel like a game of roulette. Maybe you’ll hop out of bed feeling none the worse for wear, or maybe, your head will be heavy as an anvil with a churning stomach and strong desire to do nothing but take it easy until your body can get itself in order. Hangovers often lead to cravings for foods loaded with carbs, grease and fat that can soak up the alcohol from the night before and fuel the next day. A bit of sweat-inducing spice never hurt, either. These five dishes were chef-built to help ease the pain and replenish the soul with a heavy dose of all things comforting.
Taco Bamba’s Hangover Torta
Tacos are understandably the main draw at this local taqueria chain from chef Victor Albisu. But if a thumping headache has you craving something a bit greasier, grab the Hangover Torta at Taco Bamba’s Fairfax location.
“I don’t get many hangovers these days, but when I do, I’m on the lookout for eggs and potatoes, salt and spice, and a little bit of fat,” Albisu says.
His sandwich was designed to hit all the right notes, from bacon carnitas and avocado to fried eggs and beans.
10629 Braddock Rd. Fairfax, VA; www.tacobamba.com
The Smith’s Breakfast Pot Pie
This New York City export has comfort food for all times of day. If you can’t decide what your hangover requires, go for The Smith’s Breakfast Pot Pie available at both DC locations – Penn Quarter and U Street. The skillet is loaded with bacon, sweet Italian-style sausage, a homemade cheddar biscuit crust and two runny eggs.
“For me, it’s all the best parts of biscuits and gravy packed into a pot pie vessel,” says Michael Kollarik, The Smith’s culinary development chef. “It helps jumpstart your afternoon.”
901 F St. and 1314 U St. in NW, DC; http://thesmithrestaurant.com
Succotash’s Hangover Special
Chef Edward Lee’s Penn Quarter restaurant blurs the line between Korean and Southern American cuisines – a recipe for spicy, fatty, wholesome cooking to turn around the groggiest of mornings. Lee says that his aptly named Hangover Special has all of those elements in one cast iron skillet: spicy pulled pork, potato salad, fried eggs and gravy with a biscuit.
“The Hangover Special is combination of everything you need to get your day started,” Lee says. “Together, they are fuel for your body and joy for your soul.”
915 F St. NW, DC; www.succotashrestaurant.com
Bar Deco’s Hangover Sandwich
A breakfast sandwich can be a hangover savior, especially when it’s packed with eggs and salty, fatty bacon and sausage. Look no further than Chinatown spot Bar Deco’s Hangover Sandwich and its spin on the classic. The one here is loaded with scrambled eggs, short ribs, white cheddar cheese and more between two buttery brioche buns. A spicy jalapeño bacon mayonnaise gives it an extra spicy kick.
“The Hangover Sandwich is the perfect amount of sodium and fat between a buttery bun,” says Bar Deco Bar Manager Luke Lamb. “It’s exactly what your body is craving when your body is hungover: salt to help you retain water and that fat to keep you going.”
717 6th St. NW, DC; www.bardecodc.com
Matchbox’s Brunch Pizza
Matchbox restaurants are much more than pizza these days, but the thin-crust brunch pie is still one of the best ways to soak up the pain of a long night on the town. Spicy Italian sausage brings the heat, tempered by fresh pico de gallo, smoky gouda cheese and scrambled eggs. It’s part of the many carb-heavy options on the restaurant’s bottomless brunch menu.
“The Brunch Pizza has been a popular favorite on the Matchbox menu for years now,” says chef Jim Drost, who’s also director of culinary operations. “Even when we’ve tried different versions [and] began a brunch program without the Brunch Pizza, we’ve had to bring it back by popular demand.”
Four Virginia locations, two in Maryland (and a third opening in Bethesda), and three in DC; www.matchboxrestaurants.com