Suddenly, bars all over Portland are offering breakfast and brunch as part of their weekend (and in many cases, weekday) lineups. Since Portland is the breakfast/ brunch capital of the world, these drinking establishments are up against some stiff competition. Indeed, in most cases, there's no reason to forgo your trip to fine bruncheries like, say, Milo's or the J & M Cafe, in order to gobble a plate full of grease at some nicotine encrusted shitpit... But then again, you may be hungover as hell, and you'll want to be with your own kind; fellow drunks reeling in a cloud of fermenting booze, hiding in a smoky den from the light of day.

If you're new to the bar brunch scene, start with the Blue Monk (3341 SE Belmont). With a wide wall of pretty windows providing gentle lighting, clean tables and floors, and lilting live music, the Blue Monk is a safe place even for Grandma. Its brunch menu is eclectic, though perhaps too ambitious. Items like the Eggs Benedict with citrus hollandaise and the sautéed shrimp with melon and mint salad sounded better than they tasted, though that wouldn't be such a problem if they weren't so expensive; The Blue Monk's oatmeal alone is $6.

Better and cheaper, is the Laurelthirst (2958 NE Glisan), a noisy, cozy joint that's already renowned for its delicious veggie burgers and burritos. Its breakfast/brunch menu continues the trend with a list of simple egg dishes that just taste great. One great addition to the lineup is a veggie omelet with veggie sausage. It's amazing how few restaurants have this option, but the Laurelthirst and vegetarians know how good fake pork can taste mixed in with some melted cheese, three eggs, and grilled vegetables.

Just across Sandy in the Hollywood district sits the unassuming Sam's Billiards (1845 NE 41st), a pool hall with a weekend brunch that was described to me as "fantastic." Well it was hardly that, though it was certainly adequate. A salmon omelet special with dill was surprising, but also fairly bland; its veggie counterpart was just bland. Sam's biggest sin, however, is the coffee, which tasted like warmed-over Folgers. Still, there was something about Sam's blend of pool tables and natural morning light that was exceedingly pleasant, and there's plenty there besides food to take your mind off your misery, like pool for instance.

Only the most veteran bar brunchers should hit Lucky's (NE 28th & Glisan) off Glisan. Its NFL breakfast consists of omelets that can be made with cheese, onions, green peppers, and sausage, and greasy hashbrown patties reminiscent of McDonald's. The food comes on a paper plate, accompanied by a steaming cup of ACTUAL Folgers. The price is right, though, at $3.50 for the whole shebang, plus five TVs showing football games in every possible corner. There was a lot of yelling, too, if you like yelling.

The bar brunch itself may be the ultimate hangover cure. There's booze to thwart your nausea, and food to thwart the blood rushing to your head. And if you want to go for the three-pronged attack, try taking a little jog over there. You'll feel brand new in no time.