Celebrating any Bulldog win, University of Georgia football fans excitedly embrace one another as red pom poms dance behind them. Having dedicated their mornings to pregame tailgating, the game’s attendees bake under the hot sun, inducing the contents of their morning’s red Solo cups to escape from their pores.
Come Sunday or even Monday morning, Athens is quiet. UGA fans who commemorated the Bulldogs' win with alcoholic beverages lack the previous day’s energy and excitement, wondering how such a fun-filled day could end with such a pounding headache and uneasy stomach. Fortunately, however, the town’s multitude of local eateries offer dishes on their menus to heal the hangover.
Athens Bagel: Daddy’s Girl on a salt bagel
Athens Bagel is a New York-style bagel bakery in downtown and boasts a variety of breakfast and lunch sandwiches to satisfy your hangover cravings. Tom Hurley, one of the chefs responsible for making kettle-boiled bagels on a daily basis, recommends the Daddy’s Girl breakfast sandwich to still the shakes after a night out. Strips of sizzling bacon or a spicy sausage patty lay on top of two battered eggs, cooked to the customer’s preferred style. Pressed between a homemade bagel dotted with salt, Hurley believes this sandwich paired with a blue Powerade from the eatery’s soft drink machine is the best cure on their menu.
Robin Staub-Grundstein, a registered dietician at Healthy Habits Nutrition Consulting said this combination would be advantageous in eliminating hangovers because of the eggs and salt on the bagel. The eggs, provide an amino acid that is depleted during alcohol consumption, compliment the bagel’s salt, which acts to replenish electrolytes.
ADD Drug: the Patty Melt
Two juicy beef hamburger patties topped with cheddar cheese oozing grease onto a sesame seed bun, coined “the Patty Melt,” is ADD Drug owner Kevin Florence’s pick to cure the symptoms of drinking. Topped with onions sautéed in butter, the sandwich doesn’t lack the grease many hungover diners crave. According to Florence, the volume of the entreé makes it such a desirable option at the store’s lunch counter.
“It fills you up and soaks up whatever you drank the night before,” Florence said.
The sandwich is under $4, and is popularly paired with fried onion rings, tater tots loaded with bacon, cheese and ranch or one of the electrolyte beverages sold at the 15-year-old pharmacy such as Pedialyte or Biolite, according to Florence.
Mother Pho: Mother Pho Special
The Vietnamese restaurant’s specialty dish is a noodle soup, marinated in a salty beef broth, complete with onion, scallion, cilantro and various meats. The Mother Pho Special, which manager Jody Dinh recommends as the best hangover selection on the menu, offers an easy way for diners to get their sodium fix.
“Something about the broth just brings me back,” Dinh said. “It’s comparable to chicken noodle soup when you’re sick. You feel rejuvenated after eating it.”
Staub-Grundstein agreed that the high sodium dish, complete with protein, fast-acting carbohydrates and vitamin-rich vegetables, is a good choice to replenish electrolytes and nourish your body after a night of drinking.
1000 Faces Coffee: Bell’s Blend
While putting food on the stomach is an essential element of curing a hangover, oftentimes caffeine can help restore your energy. Mike Young, the general manager at 1000 Faces Coffee on North Thomas Street, said while shops’ brews won’t necessarily help with the dehydration aspect of a hangover, getting a tall cup of the coffee roaster’s Bell’s blend will help you feel more alert and alleviate some of the symptoms of tiredness. Young recommends enjoying the full-bodied, sweet chocolatey drink at the Saturday morning Athens Farmers Market to let the sun and fresh air contribute to your revival.
Mama’s Boy: Pulled Pork & Potato Hash
Known for its flaky biscuits and their homestyle jelly, this classic brunch spot is a popular destination during football weekends. Cooper Hudson, the co-owner of the restaurant, advocated that items on the Mama’s Boy menu have the vital components, such as eggs and fast-acting carbohydrates like potatoes, toast and biscuits, to help customers feel renewed.
“It explains why we are so busy on the weekends,” Hudson said. “When people are hungover we know we need to get ready.”
Tyrone Howell, the manager at the downtown location of Mama’s Boy, said the general consensus from the restaurant’s staff is that the pulled pork & potato hash from the breakfast section of the menu is the best hangover food that both of the eatery’s locations offer.
A mound of smoked barbecue drizzled with a Carolina Fire barbecue sauce and two plump poached eggs covered in salty hollandaise sauce are perched on top of a bowl of hashed potatoes to make a hefty morning dish. The plate is priced at $10.99 and comes with a baked biscuit on the side to absorb any abuse endured by the stomach the previous evening.
Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Robin Staub-Grundstein. The Red & Black regrets these errors, and it has since been changed.