Bryan Richardson
It's always been my belief that a little "hair of the dog" is the only real cure for a hangover. Of course there's also strenuous exercise, but involving myself in that reminds me too much of the book Drinking: A Love Story, about some lonely lady who hid liquor bottles in the back of the toilet, drank herself into oblivion every night alone, and then went rowing for two hours every morning while hoarking over the side of the boat. So I guess drinking more actually makes me feel like I drink less... Regardless, what I do know is that when I feel like shit from too many vodka tonics the night before, the first thing I want in the morning is a Bloody Mary. And if a Bloody Mary is delivering the cure, it better be a damn good one.

Of course fancy, liquor-serving breakfast restaurants like Zell's (1300 SE Morrison) make a great Bloody Mary, but when you're in a weakened state, you need a place where you can smoke and drink and not feel bad... because what you need most now is love. Two Grand street haunts guaranteed to blanket you in sweet bar comfort are the Slow Bar (533 SE Grand) and the Rose and Raindrop (532 SE Grand). These neighbors compete for one of the best Bloodys in town.

Slow Bar uses house infused Italian tomato vodka, a zesty homemade mix, and dresses up the pint glass with olives, pepperoncini, and a spicy green bean. The Rose and Raindrop's weekend brunch bartender, John Reed, generously shared his amazing list of Bloody ingredients--which is mind-blowing, and is as follows: vodka, tomato juice, celery salt, cayenne and black pepper, green and red Tabasco, Sriracha Thai chili sauce, horseradish, Worcestershire, A-1, lime juice, and a pour of Guinness to enhance the feel in your mouth. They garnish simply with olives--this gorgeous Bloody doesn't need a lot of decoration--although they're working on pickling their own green beans in house. All that, and they have the most comfortable cushy bar chairs in town.

For the control freak, Holman's (15 SE 28th) lets you build your own Bloody on Sundays until 3 pm. Of course your mix probably won't win any awards, but you can jam in as many olives and celery sticks as you want, and spice addicts can pepper, salt, and douse with hot sauce to their heart's desire. Plus, you can sunbathe on one of Portland's best patios, relishing your creation.

Although one of the Mercury's particularly grumpy freelancers gave Daddy Mojo's (1501 NE Fremont) a scathing food review in the past, throngs of Portland hipsters give their breakfasts, and especially their Bloody Mary, the seal of approval. Mojo's distinguishes its signature brunch cocktail with a hearty, delicious steak sauce and ketchup-spiked mix, made with tomato juice and V-8. Most significantly, though, they garnish with olives, pickled green beans, and two shrimp with cocktail sauce. This Bloody isn't for pussies--meaning people who can't scarf down a couple prawns before breakfast--although you always have the option of skipping the seafood garnish.

And finally, the award for best dressed Bloody Mary goes to the Delta Café (4607 SE Woodstock), for jamming as many vegetables as humanly possible into a goblet the size of Hellboy's fist. While their mix isn't my favorite in town, tasting a bit more salty than smart, the vast array of garnishes are usually too tempting to pass up.

While I've undoubtedly skipped a few choice spots--the powerful and tasty Triple Nickel Bloody (3646 SE Belmont); the strong, cheap, and evil My Father's Place concoction (523 SE Grand)--it's my thought that these two places are better suited for the long night of drinking that occurs prior to waking up parched, with head throbbing, and in dire need of a remedy.