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Food Hangover Cures

May 4, 2014
In Your Gastronomical Pursuits, May the Fourth Be With You

In Your Gastronomical Pursuits, May the Fourth Be With You.

Alcohol hangovers are for amateurs. Try living in a town that likes to go out to eat and also gets a lot of visitors for Puppet Camp and the Annual Conference of the Society to Make the Honey Badger the National Mammal. In D.C., you can’t go out to dinner thinking you might eat sensibly. Too boring. You’d never know the joys of kitfo or deep-fried spinach or shrimps with the eyeballs still on. Every dinner plan needs a corresponding food hangover cure. A few of mine, based on D.C. restaurants, are below.

Cuba Libre’s “15 Tastes of Cuba” – This is the highest ratio of dollar to delicious for a fixed price dinner in Washington D.C. The food comes out in waves. Around the third wave, you’ll think it will stop soon. You’ll want it to stop soon. But no. Two more waves at least. Pace yourself! (This isn’t to suggest sensibility. This is about survival.) Food Hangover Cure: Orange juice, about 16 ounces, not to be consumed before 11am the following day. OJ is the perfect follow-on to the last pisco sour fourteen hours before.

Chinatown Express: They make fresh noodles right there. You can watch through the window onto Sixth Street. Mystical twisting, pulling and rolling of dough (plus Chinese magic I assume) makes noodles appear. It’s pretty cool. When you go in to eat, you’ll try to get the soup because that’s sensible. The waitress will talk you out of it, and you’ll get the fried noodles instead. Obviously. One cheap, delicious bite follows the other, and suddenly you realize you’re in a Sriracha Roadster racing down the Highway of Regret. Food Hangover Cure: Wait an hour. Eat an apple. I don’t care how sick you feel from that fried noodle magic. Your body needs fruit and no sauce. Be sure to ask the waitress before you leave for directions to her brother selling apples down the street.

Obelisk: You can’t help but overeat at this Italian-inspired restaurant. The largest meal I ever ate was in Rome. On that night long ago, I thought I might die from over-eating. I knew I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time because cabs are impossible to hail in that city. So in the wee hours of peristaltic paralysis, I dug up some really old pink pills and prayed to Pepto-Bismol to spare my life. I made two promises to the Pink Deity – that I wouldn’t eat for 24 hours and that I’d certainly never eat that much at one meal again. Bismol the Benevolent let me live. Italian Food Hangover Cure: The following day at 4pm, a garden salad with oil and vinegar and a large glass of chocolate milk. (Note: In Rome, I ate again before the 24 hours was up. As a result, Great Pepto deemed that onions and garlic will forever trouble me.)

International House of Pancakes: Who would overeat during dinner at IHOP? That’s just wrong. If you’re eating at IHOP, it shouldn’t be anywhere close to dinnertime. It’s a well-known fact that people only eat at IHOP between the hours of 2am and 4pm. I think the restaurant is closed otherwise, which means you were breaking and entering. Not only that, but you probably wore the cool nametags and sat at whichever booth you wanted. Food Hangover Cure: Breakfast at IHOP at 8am. This “solution” is a punishment for your crimes. Also, you’re not allow to go to either of the IHOPs in D.C. You can go to the Ballston IHOP if they’ll have you.


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