Big breakfasts for the morning after from the District:
PHOTO by ROSHEILA ROBLES
It always seems like a good idea at first sip, a dehydrating desire born under that dim barroom light that can make anything (or sometimes anyone) seem doable. It isn’t until your head starts wobbling under its own drunken weight and your tab rolls well over the double-digits that you even reconsider the first few beers. But however steely your stomach, that path is one that will lead you nowhere except to a brain-busting hangover.
There are dozens of varyingly irrational ways to cure a hangover (a morning shot of Maker’s isn’t an option in the real world), most of which are derived from inexplicable and dubious origins that nevertheless possess near-medicinal reputations. But because there’s really no perfect prescription, the best bet for a quick fix is something far simpler: a big, bestial breakfast.
The Potholder might not be the obvious breakfast option for those operating with soggy, liquor-soaked logic (it’s locally famous for its globetrotting customers, not the panacean power of its pancakes), but the Broadway classic has at least one surefire cure. The diner is very much a neighborhood place, where mornings are lost to topped-off cups of coffee, and newspapers are still unfolded on tables like ancient artifacts. But if you’re eating at the Potholder with nothing but a pint in your system, you’re there for one thing: the breakfast burrito.
Size matters when it comes to hangover helpers, and the Potholder’s breakfast burrito is about as big as it gets. (Were it to be unfurled, the burrito would probably reach pizza-like proportions.) The ingredients are familiar—eggs, beans, chorizo or soyrizo, and a few spoonfuls of salsa, avocado and sour cream—but the Potholder raises the burrito stakes, supersizing its version to perfect, almost inhuman dimensions. And just in case the burrito isn’t able to soak up last night’s shots on its own, there’s also a side of hash browns to sop up the last drops of alcohol.
Schooner or Later, the marina-adjacent restaurant that got some airtime from the Food Network’s resident cholesterol-consumer Guy Fieri, is a hangover-breakfast headliner. It might be tempting, but don’t get overcome by the sight of a schooner or two of Pabst here—you’re looking to throw yourself into the Mess, an affectionately sloppy pile of ham, onion, bell pepper, eggs and hash browns topped with cheese and accompanied by a couple pieces of toast. The ingredients are more or less indistinguishable (the cheese glues the whole thing together into one big breakfast ball), but that’s the allure. There is, in fact, no thought involved in eating the Mess—you just tilt your head back and let it slide right on down.
Stouter still is the Weasel from Belmont Pool neighbor Chuck’s Coffee Shop. The Weasel is a breakfast of pure protein: scrambled eggs buried under a ladleful of chili and cheese. It might be a harsh combination under other circumstances, but it’s as good a hangover cure as you’ll find, a fact that can be attested to by anyone who’s ever eaten Cincinnati chili.
There are a lot of great breakfast spots in town (further proof that Long Beach is a tough-livered city), all of which grill up plenty of good morning meals. But when you’re still soused, even a plate of perfectly poached eggs or brioche French toast won’t do. The only logical option for your illogical haze is to eat quixotically: By the time you finally finish one of these unfinishable breakfasts, it’ll be time for another round.
THE POTHOLDER 3700 E BROADWAY | LONG BEACH 90803 | 562.433.9305 SCHOONER OR LATER 241 N MARINA DR | LONG BEACH 90803 | 562.430.3495 CHUCK’S COFFEE SHOP 4120 E OCEAN BLVD | LONG BEACH 90803 | 562.433.9317