Three Ways to Beat a Hangover in Honolulu

Featured, Food & Wine, Hawaii — By on June 29, 2010 at 6:00 am

By Molly Fergus
LG Deputy Editor, Travel News

Honolulu’s balmy ocean breezes (and $3 happy hour specials) make it all too easy to drink away hours at the beach – and inevitably wind up a little wilted the next morning. Sometimes, a quick dive in the surf and an afternoon sunbathing session are all it takes to erase the night’s indulgence, but particularly rough mornings call for a bit more action. Luckily, Oahu is rife with coping methods. Whether you reach for the grease or prefer to mend your liver with health foods, I’ve rounded up three choices for battling hangovers (and prepping for the next night out).

Mop up Mai Tais with a Loco Moco
The grease-protein-carb trifecta is a surefire hangover buster, and this Hawaiian breakfast staple has them all in spades. Dubbed the “loco moco,” the dish takes a pile of white rice, tops it with a thick hamburger patty and a fried egg, and smothers the whole shebang with gravy. Find the combo (a statewide favorite reportedly invented on the Big Island in the late 1940s) on most breakfast menus, but clean plate club members watch out: A few forkfuls of the uber-rich creation just might take care of that headache altogether.

Break through the Fog with Portuguese Sausage
The Portuguese immigrants who moved to Hawaii in the nineteenth century infused the islands with some of the state’s most iconic images  (the ukulele and the Hawaiian steel guitar both have their roots in Portugal). Most relevant the morning after, though, is the Portuguese sausage. Similar to a mild chorizo, the meat is often served with rice and eggs in the morning and packs just enough protein, spice, and fat to kick last night’s bender to the curb. Find the dish on most breakfast menus, but for some of the tastiest head back to the Kukui Sausage or North Shore Cattle Company stand at the Kapiolani Community College Farmers’ Market.

Detox at Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room
Disciplined vacationers should head to Alan Wong’s Pineapple Room to flush out toxins with fresh, locally inspired fruit and veggie dishes. Tucked inside the sprawling Ala Moana Center’s Macy’s, the restaurant serves reinterpreted Hawaiian classics like poi, a creamy starch made from the taro root, and even a loco moco made with locally sourced beef. The entire menu is loaded with enough greens to replenish any missing nutrients (think kale with garlic and chili flakes, stir-fried long beans, and stewed tomatoes), but real rehydration calls for some of the house-made fruit drinks. Start with a watermelon soda or frothy mango juice, and if you still need a little hair of the dog, ask for any of the concoctions with liquor.

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