Tuesday, August 11, 2009
In light of my recent string of epic weekends, I thought a post about late-night food and it's sibling, the hangover brunch, might be in order. One of the greatest things about New York is its nightlife, and thank the lord-Jesus-Buddah-Confucius-Puff the Magic Dragon-et. al. that there is always a 24-hour pizzaria or a deli to be found. Those that knew me when I first moved to the City might well remember my relationship with the Papaya Dog on 14th and 1st.
There are those that say that the food you eat after a night of partying actually has no real effect on the severity of a hangover the following morning. I say, honey, pleaese. These people obviously did not see me the day after I missed out on a late-night grilled cheese from Emma's Dilemma (awesome) and had to suffice with a fist-full of Teddy Grahams (not awesome).
That said, I do not believe all foods of this nature are created equally. A 99cent hot dog with ketchup, which can do in a pinch, simply cannot compare to a grilled ham and swiss from The Astro up in midtown, a hot slice from Pizza 33, or a sandwich made-to-order at the glory that is any solid late-night diner. Big Daddy's Diner and Bravo Pizza on Park Ave and 20th are personal favorites, partly due to their convienient location within stumbling distance of my own apartment. Why does late night eating help? I have no idea, I just know that it does. Perhaps it soaks up some of the poison. Perhaps it just delays the inevitable but by the time that hits, you're already awake, hopefully slugged some water and two advil, and are en route to phase two of Sunday morning, which is the beloved Hangover Brunch.
There are a few spots in the City near and dear to my heart for this, but by all means, please add to the list in the comments! L'Express is grand, but there can be a but of a wait, although their Frittata or croissant sandwich might be worth it. It's all about their eggs benedict if you're my boyfriend, plus an extra side of bacon if we're in real pain. The Park Plaza Restaurant in Brooklyn in Dumbo has literally anything you could ever want, and the Astro is a New York classic. Whenever my father is in town on business, he'll go out of his way just for their pastrami sandwich and greek salad, even if he is literally in the City for only a few hours. 'Ino's on Bedford a tad healthier and has great sandwiches. If you are downtown, Veslka in the East Village or the Blaue Gans in Tribeca are also terrific. If you are into anything "fin de siecle" or Viennese fare, the Blaue Gans is worth trying when you are in a less desperate mood as well. Bubby's, in either Brooklyn or Tribeca serve a phenomenal brunch and increadible all-American homestyle food at lunch and dinner. Their baked beans are second to none and the only time I've ever had better cherry pie was at a pie stand in Traverse City, Michigan, next to an actual cherry farm.
I have heard an urban legend that drinking coconut water before you go to sleep will also help. I tried it, and it might have worked a little, but I think all it really did was just make me have coconut breath in the morning. I maintain that nothing can beat an ice cold glass of coca cola, full fat, a.k.a "The Red Ambulance."
And then there are those mornings where it is just so bad you can't eat anything. In which case, the only thing left to do is curl up in the fetal position and pray for a time machine.