After hours of drinking the night away, sometimes a little greasy food from a late-night grubbery is all any boozer needs to balance his or her tipsy footsteps. Here are a few nontraditional options.
Here’s a scenario to consider while your judgment is yet to be impaired: It’s after midnight, and you have been absorbing liquor all night, when a ravenous, primitive hunger comes over you.
The drunk munchies have struck again.
But there are plenty of delicious options aside from resorting to the drive-through window. As Philadelphia is a smorgasbord of cultures, the city provides a robust choice of eateries within blocks of each other, yet spanning countries and continents, for the starving drunk.
David’s Mai Lai WaH
11th and Race streets
David’s is open until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, making it a prime choice for late-night binges. Its neon sign on the corner of 10th and Race streets draws in partygoers like flies to a light bulb.
Reading through the menu at David’s is a sobering experience in itself. With page after page of rice, noodles, seafood and dumpling, it’s like a phonebook of Chinese cuisine. The salt-and-pepper-fried frog legs are an amphibious alternative to chicken wings. David’s also serves Peking ducks with soft, moist dumpling to be used for a sandwich – the perfect treat on those nights when the motor skills needed to hold a knife and fork are numbed.
10th and Tasker streets
The white, glowing sign for this Mexican restaurant is iconic because, from a distance or after enough shots, it looks like it has a hemp leaf in the center. Upon closer inspection, the image on the sign is really a sprig of grass that just happens to look like a pot plant. But there is no trickery when it comes to quality of the food at El Maguey – it’s simple, generous-sized and Mexican.
The menu consists of tacos, burritos, quesadillas and tortas, or Mexican sandwiches, and the kitchen is open until 2 a.m. on weekends. El Maguey is also cheap with plenty of vegetarian options. Its cheese quesadilla is $4 and stuffed with creamy white cheese hardly contained by the flour wraps. That the flour and corn tortillas can withstand the weight of the cheese without collapsing defies physics and is a credit to the integrity of the ingredients.
11th Street and Washington Avenue
There are innumerable restaurants lining Washington Avenue and Chinatown serving pho, a Vietnamese soup of beef broth with long rice noodles typically served with thin slices of beef and chicken, and they are all worth trying.
Pho Hoa is simply one of the larger ones with another lengthy menu. It is actually a chain restaurant, as is Pho 75, another popular Vietnamese brand in South Philadelphia.
Perhaps pho has become so popular in the states because of its said miraculous hangover-curing powers. Even if it is a placebo effect, one cannot help but feel elevated with a massive bowl of noodles and broth. People who may dislike cilantro should be warned that is used liberally in Vietnamese dishes. Also, try the Vietnamese coffee; it is sort of like wiring a nine-volt battery to one’s spinal cord.
Jimmy Viola can be reached at email@example.com.