Ordering your dish scattered, smothered and/or covered has become synonymous with late-night eating in Atlanta. But, if you’re looking for something beyond eggs and hash browns, there are plenty of witching-hour alternatives to be had around town.
Hae jang guk
Sure, you could order one of the many hearty beef stews or the barbecue cooked over wood charcoal to offset a long night of drinking. But why not impress your friends — and nip your hangover in the bud — at Seo Ra Beol (3040 Steve Reynolds Blvd., Duluth. 770-497-1155, seorabeolusa.com) by asking for hae jang guk, an old-school Korean favorite known in English as “hangover soup”? Not for the culinarily unadventurous, the dish includes tender, fall-off-the-bone beef short ribs, steamed bean sprouts, green onion and cabbage, all served in a pungent beef broth. Oh, and did we mention the blood intestine? Yeah, there’s some of that, too. If you can’t stomach the thought of late-night risk-taking, the yook gae jang, a spicy soup with shredded beef and vegetables, will serve the same purpose as the hae jang guk without the side-eye. Everything is served with traditional ban chan small dishes and washed down with a cup of shikhye, a Korean rice punch dessert drink.
Just because it’s late at night doesn’t mean your options are limited to fluorescent-lit greasy spoons. The Octopus Bar (560 Gresham Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-627-9911, octopusbaratl.com), situated in an intimate space attached to So Ba Vietnamese restaurant, offers late-night gourmet fare while pumping the Pixies and Sex Pistols. Eschewing the standard burger, chef Duane Kulers has created his chopped steak, a New York strip cut into small cubes and turned into a patty mixed with bread crumbs, shallots, rosemary, lemon and egg yolk, then seared quickly and topped with maitaki mushrooms. It’s an impressive panoply of complementary flavors, making it a go-to for late-night gourmands. Kulers is known for rotating menu items frequently, so resolve to stay up past your bedtime to try this carnivore’s dream before it makes its exit from the restaurant’s roster.
The Hot Mess
Is there any better drinking food than something — anything — slathered with chili? Luckily for customers at Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand (489 Moreland Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-474-9651. 881 Marietta St., Atlanta. 404-254-0408, thesausagestand.com), that chili comes served on top of the homemade chicken sausage. It’s a dish that owner (and Flying Biscuit founder) Delia Champion spent years developing. In addition to the homemade chili, the Hot Mess also comes topped with pickled jalapenos and shredded cheese. Another option for cheese fans is the Smack ’n’ Cheese, a sausage topped with a grilled mac-and-cheese patty, collard greens and the restaurant’s tangy red “comeback” sauce, which adds zip. Vegetarians don’t get left out — they can tell the cashier to switch any sandwich or slider from chicken sausage to a Tofurky link. As an added bonus, diners at the westside location can eat their Hot Mess while watching the sunrise over the skyline from a converted shipping container.
Eating around the clock in Atlanta:
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