Picture this: It's 9:30 on a Sunday morning. The sun pierces your curtains. Your head throbs. Your stomach turns. Saturday night was fun, but no longer kind to you now. You, our friend, have a hangover. Lucky for you, nothing known to man battles the effects of a hangover quite like the world's best breakfast cocktail -- the Bloody Mary. Variations abound on this classic drink; it's not uncommon these days to find a bacon infusion, tequila in place of vodka and a grip of pickled veggies as a garnish. We take ours spicy and strong, and our two favorite Bloody Mary hangouts will duel to see which cocktail crushes the competition.
In This Corner: Dick's Hideaway
The Setup: Nothing quells a hangover quite like the cave-like environment of the small, cool Dick's Hideaway bar in NoPho. While seating is limited and it gets pretty full during peak Bloody Mary hours, you're in for a treat if you can snag a seat. The Southwestern vibes and décor are modern, not cheesy, which is refreshing in a land of turquoise and kokopelli-filled kitsch.
The Good: Take one sip and you've got a hot kick in the pants to wake you up and snap you back to reality. The spiced-up tomato juice base completely covers much of the vodka flavor, but the vodka flavor is definitely there. The garnish is a celery stick, tasty pickled asparagus, and lime. The lime's acidity really accents the drink's heat nicely. Plus, you get a shot of beer on the side to sip on if you're feeling the burn.
The Bad: This isn't a drink for spice sissies. We've warned you. It's spicy, and, while it can combat any hangover, the combination of the drink with the also spicy appetizers at Dick's can cause some major heartburn. Make sure to bring a bottle of Gaviscon if you plan on drinking and dining.
In The Other Corner: Gallo Blanco
The Setup: While Gallo has a full bar and lounge area to accommodate your day drinking, you can also order Mexican-style brunch at the restaurant. We prefer to take our cocktails poolside at the Clarendon where you can sip your drink between dips in the cool water. The comfy lounge chairs and colorful tile mosaics are the ideal way to relax on a Sunday afternoon.
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The Good: Gallo's cocktail is pretty much an alcoholic's answer to a salad. Garnished with lemon, lime, two olives, pickled green beans, celery and jicama, you're sure to be munching and crunching as much as you're drinking. After a couple of these, not only will you feel more spritely, you'll also feel those hunger pains melt away. The salted rim is a nice, festive touch to an already bountiful beverage.
The Bad: While Dick's Bloody Mary takes about one minute to take effect, Gallo's subtler take could have you ordering two or three to really feel any better. Settle in and prepare for a longer recovery.
And the winner is... Dick's Hideaway. While we love drinking bloody marys poolside at the Clarendon all day and munching on the crunchy veggies, Dick's mary is so devilishly spicy that it'll smack the sick right out of you. Plus, Dick's gets bonus points for the beer chaser and delicious pickled asparagus. Both are bloody great options, though.