Dining » Food & Drink

Alka-Seltzer Morning Relief

The Buttery, 3659 South Grand Boulevard, 314-771-4443

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Legend has it that when God invented the hangover, a drunken Beelzebub arrogantly offered to arm-wrestle the Creator for the right to patent a morning-after cure. As Satan's right wrist hit the white marble tabletop in the Lord's study, the hopes of a vast legion of mortal moonshine tipplers went right down with it, ushering in a seemingly eternal plague of boozy retribution with more nausea-inducing staying power than the bubonic.

What the Lord didn't bet on was mortals' beating his subterranean nemesis to the punch. So those in the throes of a monthlong Mardi Gras/St. Patty's/March Madness bender would be wise to stockpile the greatest invention of the 21st century: Alka-Seltzer Morning Relief.

This isn't your grandpappy's plop-plop-fizz-fizz. These effervescent citrus-flavor tablets have one mission: to cure the worst of your hangovers. The advertising campaign doesn't mince images -- the TV commercial depicts a twentysomething bloke partying in a disco, followed by a bedside portrait of Our Man wincing in pain in the morning. Having plunked his Morning Relief tablets into a mug o' H2O, homeboy is right back in the saddle, flipping through the Riverfront Times' Calendar section to see what Sunday night has to offer.

The more experienced the Morning Relief user becomes, the swifter he realizes that the cure-all -- which, let's face it, consists of a good dose of aspirin augmented by a monster jolt of caffeine -- is best accompanied by a hearty breakfast. And though you can't actually purchase the product there, there's no better place to take the cure after a hard day's night than that humble 24/7 South Grand institution the Buttery.

Diners are a dime a dozen, and the Buttery's orange-Formica décor and utilitarian booths don't exactly separate it from the pack. But when you take a look around you, you'll note that the patrons look just as haggard as you do. You've just walked in, and already you feel as if you've pulled even with the sober world! Now that's comforting. After choosing among the menu's many items under $3, you feel like you're winning. And when the effects of a midmeal fizz-plop kick in, the grease-catalyzed union of the chemical megadoses with your cup of steaming java creates a sort of white-highway wonderbuzz. Who's the big winner? You are.

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