Serious Eats: Drinks
Hangover Helper: The Hangover at Meander's Kitchen in White Center, WA
Meander's recently moved from its inside-a-Chinese-restaurant location (they never changed the Jade West Café sign) in West Seattle to a larger space just to the south in unincorporated White Center. Many miss the intimacy of the old space (including the chef/owner herself), but the new location—in an old bar but not serving booze--has a big back room with lounge area that features a pool table and a jukebox.
The Hangover ($9.50) is just what the carb doctor ordered: "a double order of crispy browns topped with homemade sausage gravy." Additional protein comes from two eggs, which I ordered over easy so that the yolks could run down the potatoes. Finishing the plate is a biscuit, a natural match with the gravy. If that's not enough carb action for you, do as I did and get a side of snowy beignets that come with house-made marionberry jam.
The potatoes are crisped until crunchy, holding up well even while swimming in the sauce. Really, though, this dish is all about that gravy. There are plenty of crumbles of sausage to satisfy, and the perfectly peppery flavor will perk you up for breakfast—served until the 3 p.m. closing time for those having slow mornings. Note, though, that the menus are slightly different weekdays and weekends; some of the weekday classics are missing on the weekends, but you can get waffles with fried chicken on Saturdays and Sundays. Furthermore, be coherent enough to know that Meander's is cash only (the owner disdains credit cards), though there's an ATM machine inside the restaurant if you're caught empty-handed.
About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.