If you can’t stomach tripe as a hangover cure, we have other options for you.

Sober Up! 

If you can’t stomach tripe as a hangover cure, we have other options for you.

For years, I've heard that menudo — the Mexican stew made from tripe (the lining of beef stomach), a calf's foot, hominy and chiles — was a classic hangover cure. But when I was doing research on chili (see Café), I learned that it, too, is pretty good for short-circuiting the painful effects of too much boozing. Especially effective is chili verde, made with green chiles.

I can't promise that they'll be dishing up menudo or chili verde on January 1, but Taqueria Mexico (910 Southwest Boulevard) will be open on the day after New Year's Eve. Bleary-eyed diners can also chug down a curative "hair of the dog" margarita with their chili at Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy (8541 Northwest Prairie View Road in Zona Rosa), the Salty Iguana (8228 Mission Road) or Ponak's Mexican Kitchen (2856 Southwest Boulevard).

The charming midtown brunchette You Say Tomato (2801 Holmes) won't be open on New Year's Day, unfortunately, but co-owner Michael Pouncil plans to serve the traditional first o' January "good luck" black-eyed peas during breakfast and lunch on New Year's Eve. For those of us who prefer fried cinnamon rolls as a good-luck charm, Bell Street Mama's (1726 West 39th Street) will be open on New Year's Day. Ditto Eggtc. (5107 Main), which will serve breakfast and lunch until 2 p.m.

Chinese New Year isn't until February 18, but Richard Ng celebrates good ol' American New Year's Day by keeping all five of his Bo Lings restaurants open for customers requiring some spicy, head-clearing Szechwan food after a raucous night of partying. A friend of mine insists that Chinese food is terrific post-intoxication fare, but only if it's accompanied by Sprite or ginger ale. "Tea makes my hangovers worse," he says.

It's no surprise (to me, anyway) that the two wildly popular Cheesecake Factory restaurants (4701 Wyandotte and 6675 West 119th Street) will be up and running on New Year's Day. Frankly, I wouldn't mind ruining my New Year's resolution to lose weight by starting off 2007 with a slab of cheesecake. The problem is that the wait for a table at these restaurants is sometimes so long, I get something akin to a hangover headache just sitting there waiting for the pager to vibrate.

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