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The 23 best drunk foods in America

WHEN FOOD WRITERS discuss food, they should divide it into two categories: sober food and drunk food. Sober food is what you eat when you go to a fancy restaurant and want real artisanship put into your food. It’s what you want to spend lots of money on eating. Drunk food is what you shove down your throat after a night of heavy drinking in the misguided hope that it’ll absorb whatever alcohol hasn’t yet made it into your blood stream.

As far as I’m concerned, one category isn’t better than the other. I love a well-prepared meal, but there’s something truly awesome about having a line cook slop grease onto a plate in front of me and then expect me to eat it, ashamed, in the alley next to the restaurant before catching a cab home.

Each of America’s regions has its specialties — pizza in Chicago and New York, Mexican in the Southwest, barbecue everywhere — but America is America, and we know how to seize on a good idea and then take credit for it ourselves. For drunk food, of course, distinctions like “who did it first” and “where it’s the best” don’t matter — all that matters is “is it in front of me?” and “can I keep it down?” Here are some of America’s best regional (and national) drunk foods, as well as a place or two to find them.

1. Chili dog

What could be simpler? A hot dog with chili con carne and cheese. Probably most famous on the East Coast (we’ll get to Cincinnati’s variation later), the chili dog (or “Coney”) is a classic drunk food. The best that I’ve had is at Ben’s Chili Bowl in DC.
2. New York pizza
New York Pizza

The eternal feud between the New York and Chicago schools of pizza is silly because the two are so fundamentally different. And they’re both delicious. It’s like an argument over who’s better, the Beatles or Stones? Answer: Who gives a shit? The world’s wonderful with both. Time Out gives the best slice of pie to Lucali, but the City’s got so much great pizza that who really cares about rankings?

3. The humble hamburger

The Hamburger

Hamburgers are an American institution, but each region has its own best burger. The best fast food, non-gourmet, perfect-for-being-drunk burger I’ve had is from In-N-Out, which is the strongest argument I’ve got for moving to the West Coast. Honorable mentions to Shake Shack and Five Guys.

4. Tacos

Tacos

My friends from out West complain that there’s no good Mexican here in DC, and while I disagree (what up, District Taco!) I know the true home of Mexican food in the United States is the American Southwest. The Daily Meal gives the “best in the country” distinction to La Taqueria in San Francisco, but honestly, as long as I’m trashed and can eat 17 of them, I’m good with whatever.

5. Garbage plate

Garbage Plate

There is only one, and that is at Nick Tahou Hots in Rochester, New York. A garbage plate is exactly what it sounds like: a pile of greasy food. That includes cheeseburger, Italian sausage, red hots, chicken tenders, eggs, and a number of other things (depending on the variation you order). It’s like a fat sandwich (keep reading), but without the pretense of putting a bun on it. Time to go get drunk in Rochester.

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IN OAKLAND, THE PARTY is never constrained to the weekends. In fact, throughout any given month, there are plenty of opportunities to “turn up” virtually any given day of the week, for locals and tourists alike. Here’s a seven-day guide for going out in Oakland and exploring the nightlife in the Bay Area’s hippest city.
Monday

In Oakland, a “case of the Mondays” comes with something special; namely, you should hit up the popular Uptown Nightclub on Telegraph Ave, between 19th and William, for the weekly burlesque and variety performance by the Bay Area’s own world-famous Hubba Hubba Revue. The club, known for strong and reasonably priced drinks, hosts a variety of acts throughout the week and has a loyal local following.

For a slightly classier evening of craft brews and good company, head to The Trappist in Old Oakland, on 8th between Broadway and Washington. With a killer rotation of Belgian beers and a dedicated clientele, it’s a great way to see where Oakland locals go to decompress early in the week.

Last Monday of the month? I couldn’t not mention Nerd Nite East Bay, a regular night of drinking and geeking out to lectures (for example, June’s event featured bees and adult dodgeball). They also have DJs and live performers. My kind of Monday night party.

Tuesday

Believe it or not, the week really starts to pick up after Monday. At SomaR Bar, just around the corner from the Uptown, it’s 2-for-1 drinks night, which always makes for a good start to the evening. Or maybe you’re looking for something a bit more chill, preferably involving food? Shoot over for what some locals call “the only real Taco Tuesdays” at Lounge 3411 on MacArthur, where they serve a variety of gourmet Thai, Korean, Mexican, and Filipino style tacos and epic drinks…and have a brass pole in the middle of their dancefloor for a little later in the evening.

Beer Revolution, Oakland

Oakland’s Beer Revolution, another good choice for craft brews. Photo: Amy Gahran

Then again, if you’re in the mood to get your groove on immediately, bounce to the Layover Music Bar & Lounge on Franklin between 15th and 17th, where the music bumps all night on Tuesdays — at no cover charge.

Wednesday

It’s hump day, so for something completely different, and a wholly different flavor of Oakland, check out the Ecstatic Dance, which happens every Wednesday and Sunday. This “good clean fun” event (hosted in the massive Historic Sweet’s Ballroom on Broadway) is all about acceptance, and dancing as freely (read: strangely) as you want with a crew of like-minded individuals from all walks of life.

Afterward — or even beforehand — scoot over to local favorite Lost & Found for some killer eats (I hear the pulled pork is superb) and an extensive selection in their beer garden. The best part? They have ping pong and carnival games like beanbag toss (which they call corn hole…for whatever reason).

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Awesome! Thanks to @okcnyc and the @thestashboxnyc! Find out where to get your copy at 101places.com #101places #travel #travelguide #party #drinking #travelstoke

Guide to the best apres ski food and brews in Utah

Best spot on the slopes: Molly Green’s, Brighton
12601 E Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton, UT

Molly Green’s exists precisely for those days when you just can’t be bothered to pull your boots off before tucking into a gigantic heap of nachos.

Short of providing beer service on the chairlift, Brighton could not have made apres easier for you. Just ski, slide, tumble, or have your buddies drag you into the cozy cabin at the base of the hill for the best on-mountain place to sit for a beer, a nacho mountain, a handful of Gaz-Ex wings burning a hole into your hand, and a three-hour brag session about the backside 3 you seriously can’t believe nobody saw you spin.

Hint: Increase the difficulty level of the tricks you landed incrementally in accordance with the number of beers you drink. (I mean, it was really probably more like a backside 5, anyway.)

You’ll need a breath mint after: The Cotton Bottom Inn
2820 E 6200 S, Holladay, UT

Many an epic pow day has ended here. The Cotton Bottom is located just past the 215 on your way down from Brighton or Solitude.
Finishing your day here is akin to finishing your day in the basement bachelor pad of an old friend. Pile in through the kitchen (has anybody ever even seen the front door open?), grab some pitchers of one of the four beers on tap, and don’t bother messing with the menu. You want what everybody else is having, and your server already knows what it is — the garlic burger.

The name doesn’t lie. It’s garlicky heaven sandwiched between squishy rectangles of bread fused together with American cheese. Don’t ask for fries. You get a bag of chips and a beer with this burger.

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Check out the trailer for Matador Network’s newest book, 101 Places To Get F*cked Up Before You Die…and then, BUY THE BOOK!