Restaurants Tout Holiday Hangover Cures

With New Year's Day falling on a Sunday—already a popular brunch day—a number of restaurants across the nation are offering special "Hangover Cure" brunch menus and drinks.

The specials range from a lucky black-eyed-pea brunch concoction at FARMBloomington in Bloomington, Ind., and pepper martinis at MASA in Boston to cure-associated menudo, the traditional Mexican soup, at Frank's Kitchen in Denver, Colo.

"It gives us something to market on the first day of year," said Frank Berta, owner of Frank's Kitchen in Denver. "As the weather turned colder here, we wanted to have a soup special. Menudo is traditionally considered a hangover cure in Northern Mexico and the Southwest."

Berta said he is relying on a friend who has made menudo for more than 30 years to help with the New Year's Day preparation of the soup and its main ingredient, tripe. Frank's Kitchen is promoting the special through email, its website, a blog, Facebook and Twitter.

In Indiana, FARMBloomington is offering a variety of New Year's-luck dishes on its menu, which is also being billed as a hangover cure because, as Ben Hutt, morning sous chef, said, "we have the best eggs in town and those are good for a hangover."

Picking up on the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, Hutt said FARMBloomington is offering, among other special brunch dishes, a Hoppin' John Eggs Benedict, with braised black-eyed peas, green-chile hollandaise and ham on a buttermilk biscuit for $14.

Hutt said he personally wasn't planning on a hangover of any sort. "It'd be a very long day if I did," he said with a laugh.

At Ray's & Stark Bar in Los Angeles, executive chef Kris Morningstar has created a "Hangover Menu" for New Year's Day that the eatery said "is designed for those seeking to reenergize after a long night of holiday festivities."

Among items Morningstar is touting on "The Hangover Helper" menu is a buttered brioche with griddled onions, Sottocenere cheese, prosciutto rossa, wild arugula and a sunny farm egg.

At MASA in Boston, executive chef and owner Phil Aviles is offering up the "Bloody Martini," which is also known as the "Dirty Diablo."

"It may not be pretty, but neither is a nasty hangover," spokesman Chris Haynes said.

The Bloody Mary mix alone has 22 ingredients, including chili peppers and in-house infused habanero tequila, and the martini is finished off with a pinch of chipotle.

"This is definitely not your average Sunday morning Bloody Mary," Haynes said.

"Initially, we were going to pitch it as a Sunday brunch item," he said, but decided to wait for the New Year's Day Hangover Cure pitch.

"This year is special because New Year's Day is on a Sunday," he said. "It's not a big push to get people to brunch. My idea was to market it toward the hangover."

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