Best Brunch Spots for the Hair of the Dog

By Meredith Hoffman on September 29, 2012 12:48pm 

NEW YORK CITY — Wearing a handmade autumn leaf wreath in her hair and nursing a hangover, Nicolina Johnson chowed down on Huevos Rancheros one recent Sunday afternoon.  As the sun streamed onto the sombrero-covered walls of Lower East Side eatery La Flaca,  Johnson tried to disguise the ill effects of her all-night jam session — but gave herself away when she turned down a free Bloody Mary, (a.k.a. hair of the dog) with her meal.

“I’m having water,” said Johnson, with a laugh.

Johnson, 30, a musician, said she chose her brunch venue for its creative, homely vibes and the comforting cuisine that would counteract a hangover.

“The tortilla is really cheesy, great for after a late night,” she said.

Whether you seek uplifting, alcoholic or low-key solutions to your hangover, DNAinfo.com New York has found some of the city's best options.

La Flaca

Address: 384 Grand Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan                      

Phone: 646.692.9259                                                                        

Hours: Brunch is offered every day 12 — 4 p.m.

Good for a hangover because: The aforementioned La Flaca is a festive (yet under-the-radar), affordable option whose robust taco and egg dishes include free coffee and a cocktail (if you can face the dog that bit you). Either reserve a large table, dine alone at the bar, or just show up unannounced with a few friends and its usually possible to avoid a headache-enhancing wait. And in true Mexican style, beans, tortillas, and a spicy kick are part of almost every plate.

Best to eat: The Huevos Rancheros ($8) — two fried eggs on a corn tortilla with cheese and chile sauce — is a La Flaca staple. Other popular dishes include the veggie wrap ($9) — spinach, tomatoes, onions, cheese and scrambled eggs in a tortilla — and the Gordito Burrito ($8) including bacon, onion, tomato and cheese.

The $18 brunch special includes any entrée and unlimited cocktails or coffee.

Rye Restaurant

Address: 247 S. First St., Brooklyn

Phone: 718.218.8047

Hours: Brunch is offered 11 a.m. — 3:30 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. — 4 p.m. Sundays.

Good for a hangover because: Mellow music, low lighting and hearty high-quality dishes have brought devoted diners to Rye since its Williamsburg conception on South First Street and Havemeyer Street three years ago. Altered American comfort food recently sated hungover brunchers Adam Ewinski, 28, and Alex Baker, 27.

“They gave me pork belly in a biscuit rather than Canadian bacon on an English muffin,” said Ewinski of the Rye Restaurant's eggs Benedict twist, the robustness of which, he said, dealt well with his hangover.

Best to eat: The house smoked sturgeon ($14), which includes bacon, potatoes and poached eggs, is Baker’s top pick, and Ewinski’s enhanced Eggs Benedict is called the Rye Benedict ($12). Other customers one recent Sunday praised the berry-topped Challah French toast ($10) and poached egg with fried tomato ($12).

Walden

Address: 502 Lorimer Street, Brooklyn

Phone: 347.227.7133

Hours:  Walden offers brunch Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. — 3 p.m.

Good for a hangover because: Walden has become a go-to for locals seeking morning comfort. For Ben Israeli, who lives a few blocks down the street, the dishes are the perfect wake-up, whether hungover or not. Israeli sprawls at a table there alone every weekend morning while preparing for his week of work as a tutor — but he said the food speeds up his neighbors’ hangover recoveries.

Best to eat: “The chocolate brioche French toast soaks up alcohol,” Israeli advised of the $8 French Toast dish, “as does soft polenta with tomato,” he noted of the poached egg polenta ($12).

The chicken sandwich with avocado, cilantro and light mayonnaise ($11) is also worth a try, Israeli said.

Liquiteria

Address: 170 Second Avenue, East Village, Manhattan

Phone: 212.358.0300

Hours: Liquiteria is open every day with the same menu, 7 a.m. — 8 p.m. Monday — Friday and 8 a.m. — 8 p.m. on weekends.

Good for a hangover because: It’s not the traditional brunch, but health-conscious partiers can press the '"reset button" the morning after with liquefied berries, veggies, and vitamin supplements at this East Village juice mecca. You can grab a pre-made beverage from the fridge or order a smoothie or pressed juice at the counter and be back on the street (or headed to yoga) within five minutes.

Best to eat: Two drinks with detoxifying supplements include the Royal Flush ($5.45) with pineapple, pear, ginger and aloe vera, and the Mr. Green ($5.45) with carrots, apple, beet and ginger. And you can pretty much find a juice with any other fruit or vegetable you desire, when you check out their extensive menu.

Mama Joy’s

Address: 1084 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn

Phone: 347-295-2227

Hours: Mama Joy’s offers brunch on weekends starting at 11 a.m.

Good for a hangover because: Back in the comfort food realm, the newly opened Mama Joy’s has brought Southern style brunches to the heart of Bushwick, in a cozy rustic room with local art and remnants of old peeled-back wallpaper on Flushing Avenue.

Best to eat: Current brunch options include shrimp and grits with braised bacon, buttermilk biscuits and gravy with duck confit, and French toast with maple butter.

More guides to neighborhood brunching here.

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