How and where to cure a Derby hangover

The day after the Kentucky Derby is often like waking up in Vegas after having lost everything. You’re missing a tooth, there’s a tiger in the bathroom, there’s empty bottles strewn about a hotel room… wait, am I describing another scenario? Still, the same accouterments apply. Locals and tourists alike will commonly find themselves facing a collision of exhaustion, hunger and some form of humility, based on how the day’s bets went down. You may even still be drunk (the perfect time to keep drinking, amirite?). For those of us who have been slinging bevvies for the molting drunk girls and high-rolling dude bros (see my last column for more details on them), it’s finally time to bask in the glory of our hard-earned winnings and hit the town. So, where shall we meander when the orange glow of the sun has set over the grandstands, the roses have been awarded and the mint juleps have seeped far beyond our pores?

What recipes do we have in this town to cure our post-Derby woes?

I’m a firm believer that the glorious spheres of dough being churned out by the “Ladies of the Morning” in Butchertown are appropriate for any and all scenarios — particularly hangovers. That’s why I became giddy with delight when I discovered that Hi-Five Doughnuts is having a post-Derby pajama party, complete with boozy specials. “Doughjama” will include a little hair of the dog with its glorious, scratch-made “rings of sweetness,” and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Home of the Innocents. Holy mother of dough, y’all. Count me in. I’m praying they still have the galaxy glaze, in case you’re wondering.

For a savory and delightful brunch option, Sundays on the patio at The Hub will often cure what ails me. With $1 mimosas and the most stellar Savory French Toast (fluffy brioche style covered in bacon, a sunny-side up egg, and maple syrup), the woes of the weekend celebrations having come to an end will be cured with some thirst quenching vitamin C-packed champagne and a runny egg in no time.

Quite possibly the greatest of Louisville hangover cures surely can’t go without being mentioned, so don’t forget to pop over to the Outlook Inn for its “cancer-curing” and award-winning Bloody Mary. Traditionally, Outlook opens its doors at 2 p.m. on Sundays, but owner/bartender/manager, Megan, said she might be in a bit early this Sunday to start slinging bloodies for the masses.

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Sounds like the perfect post-doughnut delight to me.

Many folks, including me, from time to time, are of the mindset that greasy, bar food will always help with the hangover. That’s why my friend, Sunny, suggested Check’s Café to soak up all the booze from Derby Day. Check’s is perhaps the most quintessential and delectable neighborhood bar, having been around since the 1940s, “where trends stop cold at the door … with cold beer, and inexpensive food served hot.” Sign me up — I’ll take some jalapeño poppers, chili cheese fries, fried broccoli bites… I’ll just have one of everything.

When surveying various friends on what their post-race hangover cure included, some creative ideas came about. “A bowl of bacon,” said Scott. “Pedialyte has saved my life a few Sunday mornings after Derby!” said Jenn. Erin said Popsicles cure hangovers, and Jamie told me that a little “hair of the horse” always gets the job done.

That’s adorable — I get it.

One friend even told me to go to Cuba and drink mojitos, which I’m totally down for, by the way. It’s true we’ve got no shortage of options when it comes to celebrating a great weekend, or trying to forget all the monies we’ll never see again. Watching our Kentucky tradition come and go each year is both riveting and bittersweet, as there’s no better time to be a Kentuckian than the first weekend in May. No matter what stretch you decide to head down this Sunday, this barkeep won’t hesitate to tell you what is, without a doubt, a solid move. It’s like the old saying from “Finding Nemo” — “Just keep drinking.”

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