I love hangover burgers. Often called a breakfast burger, its comes with bacon, cheese, and an egg. I judge a restaurant based on their ability to make a good one, because the quality and preparation of the ingredients make a big difference in the overall taste. So with recommendations from the inter-webs, I went on a search to find the best in Hampton Roads and share them with you.
To be fair and consistent I order them the same way: the burger cooked medium, lettuce tomato and onion (LTO), and a side of fries. I'm calling this, the Battle of the Best Hangover Burger.
Stop 1: Repeal Bourbon & Burgers (Virginia Beach)
They call it the Prohibition here, and aren't you glad that era is gone? It has Surry County Bacon, Free Rage Over Easy Egg, Cheddar and Swiss Cheese, LTO and a side of Truffle Parm Fries.
The Burger came out more on the medium rare (but really almost rare) side, it wasn't an issue with me but its something to keep in mind if you visit. The bacon was thick cut, and not too crispy. The addition of the Swiss cheese was exciting (you can never have too much cheese, and I love cheese like Oprah loves bread), but it was almost nonexistent in taste since Swiss is a much milder cheese than cheddar.
The saving grace of this burger was the egg, because holding a bun that cant hold up to the moisture from an over easy egg is not fun. I have had buns disintegrate and the burger fall apart in my hand because of an egg that was not properly cooked. Here, not only did the bun hold shape (as shown in my picture), the egg permeated into the meat with every bite.
Stop 2: Hair of the Dog Eatery (Virginia Beach)
They actually have 2 versions of the Hangover Burger on their menu, the first version called The Hangover Burger has Ham, Sausage and Bacon in addition to the standard items. It was a little bit too much meat for me, so I ordered The Hair of the Dog Burger instead. 1/2lb grass fed Angus beef, bacon, fried egg, American and Swiss Cheese, LTO, on a waffle bun with a side of fries and gouda mac and cheese.
I'm not into waffles so I ordered this on their brioche bun instead, I typically try not to make substitutions, but I couldn't imagine how 2 waffles would hold up to 1/2lb of meat and toppings. Based on pictures online they the thickness of the waffle isn't consistent, so just be aware and ask before ordering. The bacon was not your standard grocery store stuff; it was like they had a full slab of pork belly in the kitchen and were slicing it for a group of caveman to eat. It was super thick, sweet with a mild peppery ending.
The burger itself could probably be split between two people, I personally use 1-2 pounds of meat to make a meatloaf to feed a few people so imagine getting a burger with half that amount of meat, it was massive! Despite the size, it was moist and cooked perfectly medium.
Stop 3: 80/20 Burger Bar (Norfolk)
Up and At Em! I wasn't just trying to make sure you were paying attention, its the name of the burger. The burger here is staying true to its roots featuring a sunny side up egg, bacon and sharp cheddar cheese. You have to make sure and ask for LTO when ordering as they do not automatically give it when you order.
I'm going to be honest, this wasn't my favorite. On the positive side the meat itself was flavorful and cooked to my preference, the bacon was crisp around the meat had a good balance of fat and meat. But, unfortunately the meat was very greasy, so much that my bottom bun disintegrated (yes, like the info in the 1st stop) even with the barrier of lettuce.
The egg was also not the best, the yolk was sitting on top of the white like a bubble instead of nesting inside and after putting the top bun on the burger the egg went everywhere and the top bun also fell apart. I eventually just had to give up and eat the burger with a knife and fork. After telling someone who recommended this place to me about my experience, I was told that they have to ask to have the bun toasted extra and order their burger above their normal preference.
Bacon: Everyone exceed my bacon expectations, but the vote goes to Hair of the Dog Eatery.
Egg: Hair of the Dog's fried egg was close but the best with a Sunny side up egg was Repeal Bourbon and Burger.
Cheese: Maybe I was so focused on everything else, but I couldn't taste the cheese on any of the burgers. I wont hold this against anyone.
Meat: Burgers usually get sent back to the kitchen because they are not cooked to the diners preference, although I was not bothered by Repeal inconsistency in preparation others might be. Note: I went with a large group and despite everyone ordering it medium everyone's looked different. For it being perfectly cooked and flavorful, the vote goes to Hair of the Dog Eatery.
The overall winner in my personal Battle of the Best Hangover Burger is..... Hair of the Dog Eatery!
Do you agree? If not, where was the best place you had a good hangover burger?