Hangover Easy has been a staple of my college career.
The Neil Avenue diner’s slogan is “Breakfast cures all,” and I couldn’t agree more. Apparently, more than 40 percent of our readers who voted agreed too. Hangover Easy has been the go-to spot for my roommates and me after any rough night, and time after time when I am feeling like a shell of myself, Hangover Easy makes me feel whole again.
I miss this place so much that when Gov. Mike DeWine announced the closure of restaurants and bars March 15 due to COVID-19, I had a dream about going there to eat and being forcibly removed by law enforcement. I woke up nearly in tears. There was a time when my roommates and I spent nearly every Sunday in the restaurant, laughing and reminiscing over bottomless coffee. Though our in-restaurant hangouts are temporarily on pause, Hangover Easy is still offering takeout orders and our favorite dish on the menu — the HOE Benny.
The HOE Benny is one of the restaurant’s takes on eggs benedict, though it doesn’t feature poached eggs or hollandaise. It’s an English muffin with chorizo and two over-medium eggs topped with avocado, pico de gallo, cheddar cheese, crema and queso and served with HOE fries. It packs a flavorful punch and always satisfies my cravings — hungover or not — and I cannot recommend it enough.
Menu items at Hangover Easy range from healthier options such as avocado toast to not-so-healthy choices such as the Walk of Shame — a breakfast sandwich served on a grilled Buckeye Donut. Sunday I decided to branch out and try something new, opting for the Pork Belly Benedict.
I placed the order, along with six other items for my roommates, and it was ready for pickup within 15 minutes, a pleasant surprise for a large order. I arrived for pickup and waited my turn to enter the restaurant — only two customers were allowed inside at once — to see a table blocking the way to the dining area that would usually be bustling on a Sunday morning. No matter, the service was friendly and fast as usual.
The Pork Belly Benedict rings in at $9.99 and features pork belly and over-medium eggs served atop biscuits and slathered with a sriracha hollandaise. The biscuits were buttery, moist, flavorful and more dense and spongy than flaky — just how I like them. If you choose a menu item that comes with toast, you can sub for biscuits for no charge, and you won’t regret it.
Unfortunately, the pork belly was probably the dish’s most disappointing element. It lacked flavor and was not as crispy as I had hoped. It tasted more like pulled pork than pork belly and didn’t add much more than heartiness to the dish. The eggs, on the other hand, were cooked to perfection. The whites were fully cooked without being overdone, and the yolks were delightfully runny.
The sriracha hollandaise was my favorite part of the dish. It was savory, creamy and spicy, albeit a little overpowering. This is really what made the dish for me and kept me coming back for more. I was only sad I didn’t have more of it for my potatoes — which were a bit cold and less crispy than their dine-in counterparts — and found myself scraping every last drop from the bottom of the takeout box.
Though the benedict was tasty, I was still jealous of my roommates who had ordered the HOE Benny, and I probably would not choose the pork belly again. Although we did not share any bites, my roommates said it was nearly as good as it was in the restaurant. However, we all agreed that we missed the cheery and bright atmosphere and smells of the restaurant.
Like most things right now, it just wasn’t quite the same on our living room couch. Still, eating breakfast together reminded me of the good old days, and getting takeout can cure a hangover just as well as dining in.