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Hangover 101 From A Master: Joe Ricchio

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Who better to offer advice on hangovers than Maine's champion of excess Joe Ricchio, contributing editor for Maine Magazine and salesman for So Po Wine Co. among numerous other activities that support his copious appetites. Foremost of these is his blog, Food Coma, which chronicles his adventures with "food, booze, drugs, and a method of often celebrating each day as if it were your last, not to mention the consequences of this behavior when, again and again, it does not turn out to be your last day at all." There's even Food Coma merchandise, adorned with the slogan "Mind Over Hangover."

Joe generously shared his road-tested, day-after cure, the core of which is a meal at Saigon Vietnamese restaurant, his "100% go-to for a hangover."

mind_over_hangover_flask.jpgIt is unfortunate that each year, as I grow older, my hangovers escalate accordingly, sometimes reaching the point of complete immobilization. It is for this reason that I have devised a comprehensive set of guidelines in combating such vicious and debilitating symptoms, the first and most important of which is to drink a fuckload of water. Whenever you feel like you're drinking too much of the stuff, have another couple of liters.

The next step, and some might find this to be a bit rugged, is a 5 minute long hot shower followed by 2 solid minutes of ice cold. Trust me, I know this sucks but it makes a monumental difference. You should always stock your fridge with various flavors of kombucha from the Urban Farm Fermentory, to reinstate the flora and fauna in your belly after stripping it clean the night before with copious amounts of liquor.

At this point, you should be fit to drive your car to Saigon on Forest Avenue, where you will be mercifully provided hot soup before you are even done perusing the menu. If you are able to nap after, a Ki-Rin Ichiban is in order, if not, go for the hot coffee with sweetened condensed milk. I prefer to start with the crispy dumplings filled with pork, ginger, and scallion, because they are like a fucked up little pig donut. Next, proceed with the chicken rice soup, a congee-like dish served with a garnish of fresh ginger (for the nausea) and lemongrass, along with fiery sate paste and a Vietnamese cruller of sorts. This dish is truly the best medicine for what your inner-voices have compelled you to do the night prior, combining rich, spicy, aromatic, and acidic brilliantly.

Remember to take breaths in and out at a count of five when you can, because oxygen is your friend. If you are fortunate enough to have the luxury of nap, by all means enjoy, otherwise it's time to crank some Black Label Society in the car and attack your fucking day. Remember, no matter how bad you feel chances are you're going to forget all about it and be craving another drink by 3:30!

· Food Coma [Official Site]

[Photo of Joe Ricchio/Zack Bowen]


795 Forest Ave. Portland ME