Public service announcement: Visit Bend encourages visitors to drink responsibly, and to avoid overindulging in alcoholic beverages of any kind.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s admit it – odds are high that if you attempt to tackle the entire Bend Ale Trail in one day, you won’t feel so hot the next morning. Not that I’ve done that (and certainly not in three-and-a-half hours, on foot, in a blizzard).
With New Year’s Eve approaching, it seems like the right time to share some of our favorite tried-and-true hangover meals in Bend.
My love affair with the McDonald’s Egg McMuffin is well-documented, and I devour them even when I haven’t over-imbibed the previous night. Luckily for visitors who share my passion, Bend has five McDonald’s locations to choose from, ranging from NE 3rd Street to SE 3rd Street to Highway 20 to Century Drive.
Visit Bend’s Marketing Director, Lynnette Braillard, swears by McDonald’s hashbrowns as a morning-after cure, while Operations Manager Valerie Warren suggests ordering a Diet Coke in the largest size possible. Duly noted, though I’m partial to their monstrous iced tea myself.
By noon the day after a wild night of drinking, I’m usually hit with a desperate, urgent craving for one of two things: chicken tacos at La Rosa in Northwest Crossing, or the Ahi Poke Salad at 5 Fusion in Downtown Bend.
There’s something about La Rosa’s combination of crispy taco shell, juicy chicken, cool lettuce, tangy tomatoes, and creamy-crumbly cojita cheese that sets things right in my tummy. Served with a side of their awesome chips and salsa, it’s a perfect hangover cure in my book.
Other times I prefer the detoxifying properties of a healthy salad, and the Ahi Poke lunch special at 5 Fusion fits the bill for only $10. It’s marinated tuna atop a bed of seaweed, mixed greens, and avocado, sprinkled with crispy wanton bits and tossed with a divine sesame dressing. The portion is huge, but I can usually devour it all, along with the side of hot miso soup.
Of course, there are times a hearty breakfast is the way to go no matter what time it is. Visit Bend’s Hank Thieren is one of several staffers fond of a breakfasty hangover cure. Not that he’s ever overindulged, of course.
“I’ve heard the Country Skillet at Caldera Grille with a Bloody Mary or greyhound is perfect,” he shared. “It’s hearty, greasy, and the side of ‘hair of the dog’ is helpful.”
It’s also a darn good bargain. For just $8.75, you get bacon, sausage patty, links, ham, or burger with skillet potatoes, onions, peppers, gravy, cheddar, and two eggs, plus toast. You can substitute chicken fried steak for $1 more. Since Caldera serves breakfast all day, you can fuel up any time you like.
But what if your breakfast craving strikes at 4 a.m.? Lynnette Braillard suggests the 24-hour breakfast menu at Shari’s for those odd-hour hangover helpers. The location in the middle of town is convenient, the booths are cozy, and the Breakfast Sampler offers fluffy buttermilk pancakes, sausage, applewood bacon, hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, diced country ham and cheddar cheese.
Those who prefer a slightly more refined breakfast will be delighted to know three different Visit Bend volunteers (who, um, wished to remain anonymous) suggested the eggs Benedict at Victorian Café as the perfect hangover cure.
The Vic has a wide array of benedicts to choose from, ranging from Rogue Almandine Eggs Benedict (fresh pan-seared steelhead with toasted almonds, asparagus and lemon caper hollandaise sauce) to the Bledsoe Benedict (white truffle potato cakes grilled golden brown topped with charbroiled filet mignon, fresh picked chanterelle mushrooms, wilted spinach and two poached eggs topped with a homemade horseradish chive hollandaise sauce).
Or you can stick with the Vic’s basic benedict, which has been voted Bend’s best for so many years most people stopped counting.
But back to the non-breakfast options. I tend to be in this camp myself, so I loved Valerie Warren’s suggestion of hauling your hangover to Phở Việt & Café. In case you’re unfamiliar with Phở (pronounced “phuh”), it’s a hot beef-noodle soup that is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine and culture. There are several dozen variations, but Valerie recommends the Tái N_m Gâu with beef broth, rice noodles, bean sprouts, and basil.
So what if you don’t want your hangover to deprive you of a solid day of powder skiing? No problem! Valerie heartily endorses the “hair of the dog” found in the Sun Bar at Mt. Bachelor. I second her opinion that they make one of the best Bloody Marys on the planet, complete with Mazama Infused Pepper Vodka and topped off with celery, olives, and pickled asparagus. Order two, and you’ll be back to your old self again in no time.
So what’s your favorite hangover cure in Bend? Please share!
And please drink responsibly this New Year’s Eve. Cheers!