St. Patrick's Day is upon us. Many of you will get incredibly drunk even though you are not Irish and you will be hurting the next day. As you search for sustenance to banish that headache and quell the black hole in the pit of your stomach, you may wonder why those morning-after cravings always steer us toward a greasy burger instead of a salad.
Science suggests consuming alcohol increases the brain chemical galanin, which makes us crave fat. And salt. And grease. Overindulging is also thought to lower your willpower, which is why it's so easy to ditch the diet after drinking. Maybe it's best not to fight it. Let yourself off the hook and give these greasy, glorious hangover cures a try instead.
Count on Sunday brunch at One Eared Stag to have hangover-ready food on hand. "The Meat Stick" is chef Robert Phalen's take on the ultimate cheeseburger. The two griddled patties are made out of Painted Hills' grass-fed chuck and bacon from Eden Farms. They are topped with American cheese, shaved onions, and bread-and-butter pickles. The burger is assembled on a homemade brioche bun and placed atop a bed of amazing house-made fries encrusted with glistening bits of salt. And the best part? A wood-handled steak knife is plunged through this monster to keep it all together and make it a little bit punk rock. 1029 Edgewood Ave. 404-525-4479. www.oneearedstag.com.
It's easy to default to Antico's glorious pizzas and calzones when you are in the neighborhood, but the sandwiches at Gio's are hearty meals that won't weigh you down. The Napoletano Panini is a favorite. Tender beef and veal meatballs are bathed in tomato sauce and finished with melted fior di latte cheese. The 6-inch roll is a collaboration between Giovanni di Palma and Linton Hopkins. It has the right amount of crust and softness so it won't get soggy or break your teeth. Each Panini comes with a crunchy romaine salad dressed with Gio's mom's lemon vinaigrette. 1099 Hemphill Ave. 404-347-3874. www.gioschicken.com/caffe-gio.
The crew responsible for the Sublime burger (a cheeseburger made using a doughnut as a bun) know how to make food made for hangovers. If you don't feel like trekking to the Mad Italian for its glorious Philly cheese steak, Cypress does a fine version of its own. Thinly sliced beef top round is griddled with onions, well seasoned, and then mixed with gooey melted American cheese before being slapped on a soft hoagie roll. You get your choice of a side and there are plenty of effective hair-of-the-dog options. Pro tip: Cypress Street offers the sandwich as a $5 special on Mondays. 817 W. Peachtree St. 404-815-9243. www.cypressbar.com.
Everything at Fox is good for a hangover because it's a haven for salt and fat, but the most binge-worthy dish is the Texas Fries. It's like a full meal (cheese, starch, and meat) in one tidy bowl. Crispy hand-cut fries are topped with barbecue sauce, chopped pork or brisket chili, jalapeños, melted cheese, and served with ranch. Your friends will want to share, but keep this behemoth for yourself. 1238 DeKalb Ave. 404-577-4030. www.foxbrosbbq.com.
When your brain isn't working at full capacity, dim sum is the perfect meal. You don't have to make any difficult decisions and there is instant gratification. Lots of fried shrimp dishes and pork-filled buns don't hurt, either. Golden House is the most consistent player in the dumpling game and the crazy weekend crowds prove it. Take the kids, but just make sure you get there after noon when the chefs come or the selection will be limited. Golden House also makes excellent fried rice. Check the whiteboard for specials like live shrimp ready for the deep fryer. 1600 Pleasant Hill Road, Duluth. 770-921-2228. www.goldenhousega.com.
Mexican food is the ultimate hangover cuisine because it is simple, filling, and just a little bit slutty. While a clean taco de cabeza (beef cheeks) or chivo (goat) always do a body good, we go straight to the parrilladas, which we can only describe as fajitas on crack. There are many different combos, but our favorite is the meat-heavy El Mexicano. A sizzling cast-iron plate with a long handle is topped with chorizo sausage, steak, poblano peppers, and a blanket of Chihuahua cheese. You get a bowl of charros, pinto beans served in a broth, and tortillas. Spring for the handmade tortillas, as they are better than anything you'll get out of a package and just pennies more. 5288 Buford Highway, Doraville. 770-986-0032. www.taqueriaelreydeltaco.com.
The lines are crazy on the weekends, but well worth the wait. Good biscuits are strangely hard to find in Atlanta, but Home grown gets it right, especially the Comfy Chicken Biscuit. A buttery, flaky biscuit sets the stage for two pieces of juicy fried chicken breast that are slathered in hearty sausage gravy. Add some eggs on the side and you won't need to eat for the rest of the day. The biscuit is so popular there is a counter on the restaurant's website indicating how many they've sold for the day. 968 Memorial Drive. 404-222-0455. www.homegrownga.com.