Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Drinking advice

It happens to me every time I am in Vegas. Whether it occurs at a Pai Gow table or in the Poker Room, it will happen. I will go the entire day gambling my heart out, drinking Makers or Lite with nary a care in the world. Before I know it, I will stumble away, feeling pretty drunk. I check my watch. It can’t be pass 5. The time is 11. Why does my stomach feel so empty? When was the last time I had something to eat.

Yep. I go through long stretches of doing nothing but drinking. I am not advocating this but also not saying it is necessarily an evil thing. Only your body knows how it will react. Sometimes the question is when you should eat and what. I offer only guidelines that could help. Everyone is different and I cannot guarantee results that will benefit you.

Of course, the best thing you can do before going on a nice bender is to eat something. Anything. A good base is will set the tone for your drinking day. But what if you are not necessarily hungry, or the party starts before you had planned? Thus, you may not be able to eat and get a good base to soak up that alcohol. Don’t panic. Depending on what you are drinking and your own tolerance, you may or may not be affected. Hard liquor may slap you a bit silly before you know it (see tolerance again). Beer however, may not hit you like a brick. Especially some lagers. Hey, your body will get some nutrition out of it. Also, depending on the activity of which you are engaged, time can fly by before you know it. Suddenly it is closing time and you hit up George Webbs or Dennys.

But what if are in a good binge and starving? That is why bars serve pizza and other bar food. I highly advocate this approach. Get some grub in you during your binge. If they have snacks, eat them. It will soak up some of the booze. Plus it is tasty. Good food eaten while drinking becomes great food. Who hasn’t told a story about how great the mozzarella sticks were at so and so’s place after a dozen tappers?

However, you must exercise some caution on what to eat. Don’t order too much food. After a couple of hours of pounding some beer or drinks, any food can sound good. Your eyes may be bigger than your stomach. Hit the appetizers, not the meals. If you eat the full meal, you may end up renting it instead of buying it. Last thing you want to do is wake up in your car having chunked on the passenger seat. Second, be careful of the pizza. Do not dive in as soon as the pie is set down in front of you. You will burn the roof of your mouth and suddenly eating the za is more painful than delightful.

But what if your favorite pub doesn’t serve food? That is when you hit the local diner for some after bar grub. In Milwaukee, George Webbs is the best place to go. I am sure those of you that live elsewhere know of a place that is similar. Small diner-like place that has burger, fries, chicken flavored soup, breakfast items, all at a decent price. Plus they do not look at you funny when you pay the bill with wadded up singles. The cantankerous waitress can’t wait for the drunks to leave. Sounds like heaven , I know.

One thing to note though, is you must be careful with your after-bar food. Again, be selective. Clams Casino may not be the best choice. Anything that may be a bit spicy or overly greasy could end up out of your stomach and on your carpet (or on a homeless guy 4 stories below). Last thing you want is to wake up with the dreader watery mouth. We all know what that means. If you don’t make it to the bathroom, you could wake up either face down in it, or watching your cat eat what it thinks is breakfast (not that I have any experience with that one).

If you do yack, don’t be ashamed. Everyone pretty much does at one point or another. The only thing you need to be concerned with is if you hurled on someone. They may want revenge and that will not be pretty.

In summary, I offer these guidelines to help you reach a nice consistent buzz. Food is an essential but like drinking, should be taken in moderation. Get a base in first. Try to eat what you can, when you can. And get a drink when you do. You may shock your stomach otherwise.

I must update these guidelines as Aleta has brought up an important section that I omitted. After leaving a bar, with a need for something in your belly, always, I REPEAT ALWAYS, go to a diner. Never try to go home and attempt to make food. Chances are very great that you will fall asleep while that pizza is in the oven. You do not want to wake up having a smoke alarm go off as that pizza burns to a crisp. Worse yet, when you wake up, you will regret having try to make that za because it will be the last one in the freezer. It just happens that way. Or your mother will come in and wake your hung over ass up yelling about their being a pizza in the washing machine.

Save the cooking for professionals after bar.


AlCantHang said...

Great post.

After a fine binge, we often hit a local diner until the wee hours of the morning. The bad part? My friend Landow can NEVER resist the temptation to order what they call "The Pepperoni Omelet". Huge slabs of pepperoni three inches in diameter. He always bitches the next morning and I just shake my head.

Aleta said...

You forgot to warn others about going home and cooking something. You know, like putting a pizza in the oven and forgetting about it (passing out). Or better yet, remembering it and having it in your lap and waking up to find the dog licking up the pizza from your lap. So, always stop for something..never attempt to go home and cook..

Thatcher said...

I've heard you can eat something like a vegetable or something and it will absorb most of the alcohol, which would serve no point other than drinking everybody beyond the table. . . . I don't remember if it was aspharagus or what but I felt compelled to ask and see if you knew. . .by the way, great blog.