As a traveling food writer in the South, I am intimately familiar with the kinds of greasy, salty things that most people reserve for late nights and painful mornings. These days, I'm not hung over too oftenall my traveling gets in the way of my drinkingbut, after being invited to contribute to this column, I was ready to eat like I was.
Then it happened. I went to see a band play a bar here in Charleston last Friday night. Someone bought me a bourbon. Then another. Sean Brock showed up. The band went on. The place got carried away.
I woke up around dawn with light trickling through the blinds into my bedroom. I was fine, I thought. Just a little headache. Then I sat up. About three hours later, once the balance of ravenous hunger and wobbly nausea had finally tipped in hunger's favor, I got my girlfriend and drove out to the suburbs for brunch at The Glass Onion, an unlikely mecca for made-from-scratch Southern food situated beside a shuttered car wash and a hibachi grill on a busy stretch of Highway 17.
I walked, white-faced, to the counter in back. "What do you recommend for somebody fighting a hangover?" I asked, and was directed almost unequivocally to the Beauregard Benedict, the Onion's take on the egg-and-muffin breakfast classic.
After ordering, we moved to a table outside with a plate of creamy, onion-heavy pimento cheese that came topped with pickled vegetables and Lance's crackers. Pimento cheese is aggressively rich by nature and, when made correctly, just peppery enough to cut through the fog of a day-after headache.
The cheese was fluff, though, compared to the dish that followed. The Beauregard Benedict is two biscuits with sausage gravy, a house-made link of pork sausage, and two eggs sunny side up. With each forkful of gravy-soaked biscuit, juicy pork link, and yolk, I could feel my hangover receding, until, finally, I shot up like a faith healer's patient, blood moving in my veins again. I'd been cured. Enough to stay on my feet through the afternoon, anyway.