When the green beer starts flowing around St. Patrick's Day, hangovers are as persistent as ever. From mild nausea to debilitating headaches, they will be a penance that must be endured following a day of too much festivity. And while there are as many opinions about hangover cures as there are types of alcohol, chefs know best when it comes to post-revelry refueling.
THE FATTY FIX
It is important to take preventive measures before you even start drinking, said Orchid Paulmeier, chef and owner of One Hot Mama's on Hilton Head Island. She suggested something like a Reuben sandwich, or anything with bread and cheese that will absorb the alcohol.
"Sometimes on days like St. Patrick's Day, people forget to eat and at the end of the day it's like, 'Oh, I've had nothing but Guinness and a few shots of Jameson,' " she said.
If this happens to you, remember the bread and cheese rule. And "anything that is fatty," Paulmeier added. "If there's a lot of fat, it's more than likely to help your hangover."
Chef Sean Brock of Husk and McCrady's in Charleston is also in the fatty, carb camp. He eats one of three things when he's hungover: cheeseburgers, tacos or ramen noodles. His one caveat? "Never ever cook in that shape," he said. "Let somebody else cook."
THE FESTIVE CURE
The St. Paddy's party doesn't have to stop just because you have a hangover. Laura Bonino, chef and co-owner of Griffin Market in Beaufort, recommended making use of your leftovers and whipping up some corned beef hash. It's a hearty breakfast with starchy potatoes, runny fried eggs and plenty of grease to sop up your troubles. And what's more Irish than corned beef?
THE SOUTHERN SOLUTION
Two words: shrimp and grits. That's Chef Will Oglesby's surefire solution. The chief cook at B. Matthew's Eatery in Savannah also recommended the dish with two poached eggs and a cheesy mornay sauce. You can order shrimp and grits on B. Matthew's brunch menu, but be warned. The restaurant is especially busy around St. Patrick's Day, mostly thanks to Savannah's "vibrant drinking community," said general manager Margaret Coughlin. "That is a huge weekend for us," she said.
THE HAIR OF THE DOG
"My only hangover trick is another drink," said Neo's owner and bartender Mike Woods. As the only bartender on this list, we think that's fair.
Brandon Carter, executive chef at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff, also prefers alternative hangover measures. "My favorite hangover food is something really spicy," he said.
For many, this might seem like a crazed solution guaranteed to increase gastrointestinal distress, but Carter swears by it.
"I need something to jolt me out my altered state," he said.
His go-to is chilaquiles, a spicy Mexican dish with egg, chorizo and salsa.
Then, Carter said, "Go to sleep for another hour, wake up and the hangover stops."
Follow Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_ErinShaw.