Hangover Helper: Astrolabe's Breakfast of Champions, Tauranga, New Zealand

Hangover Helper

Just what the doctor ordered.


[Photograph: Lauren Sloss]

I appreciate hangover cures that get right to the quick-and-dirty point. Hair of the dog. Bacon. Done.

So is the case with the Breakfast of Champions ($9 NZD), a daily special served from 10 - 11:30 am at Mac's Astrolabe Brew Pub in Tauranga. Seeing as this is, well, a bar, there's a decent chance that you'll be returning to the scene of your previous night's crimes (and the reason for your rough morning). But buck up: Betty's Big Breakfast Bacon Butty (no, you don't have to use the full name when you order it) is a righteous anecdote, especially since a glass of Mac's Gold is included in the $9 NZD price tag.

The sandwich keeps it simple: a half-set fried egg is served atop a massive pile of bacon, doused in Betty's barbecue sauce, and sandwiched in a 'doughboy doorstop.' Meat, egg, bread, sauce.


The nature of New Zealand bacon, which includes the loin in addition to the belly, makes this a worthy sandwich filling (and it's the bulk of this one). You still get the fatty, crisp bits on the edge, but enough meaty heft to add some balance and salty ham-flavor.

The 'doughboy doorstop' sounds much less appealing than it is: the roll is sweet and soft, easily squishing down to surround the bacon and egg within (as with Astrolabe's burger, the bun was a decidedly big win for this sandwich).

It could have been even better, of course, with the addition of some hot sauce and/or some grilled tomato and/or some avocado and/or some cheddar cheese, but if I'm picking two ingredients, bacon and egg are pretty alright ones. And as for that beer—it's a pretty weak lager, one that I wouldn't necessarily order independent of this special. But considering a normal pint can run you $7.50, this is a damn good way to get your hair of the dog and a pile of bacon on a roll.

Mac's Astrolabe Brew Bar

82 Manganui Road, Mount Manganui, 3116, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand (map) 07 574 8155, astrolabe.co.nz