Let me just say this: I love brunch. I know that sounds bougie, but I just do. I can’t help it. Unfortunately, my love for brunch is exceeded by one thing and one thing only, and that’s my love for drinking.
Sometimes, my two loves conflict. To remedy this situation, I vowed not so long ago to find the happy middle ground—stay out all night and drink right into an early brunch. I decided that Hash House A Go Go would be the best place to go to brunch, as it not only has chicken and waffles (the best brunch food), but also sells PBR tall boys (for true connoisseurs). I planned this excursion for days: I was going to lie down for a nap from 8-11 p.m. so that I could be out by midnight with enough energy to power through brunch.
After my nap, I was curling my coif and remembered that I had a Four Loko in my fridge. Let’s call this “The First Misstep.” Now, this was a few years ago, so this was the original formula, none of this no-caffeine/lower-alcohol-content crap. Being the classy lady that I am, I popped some Lil Wayne on the stereo and poured my grape Four Loko into a hefty wine glass. I downed that sucker by the time I was ready to hit the street and made my way down to Fremont East with a signature Four Loko stomachache.
When going out for a night of binge drinking, I used to have a ritual. It starts with a fancy cocktail at the Downtown Cocktail Room (DCR). The worst—or best— part, depending on how you look at it, is that DCR‘s incredibly talented mixologists have an uncanny ability to create drinks with extremely high alcohol content that also taste like candy. So, by 1 a.m., I was fueled by grape Four Loko and various concoctions of Chartreuse and genever.
The ritual then took me down Fremont Street to the liquor store. There, I was greeted by name by the attendant, Hidalgo. I guess I must be in there a lot. I was going to go for beer at this point, per Krissee’s Ultimate Drinking Plan, but Hidalgo invited me to do a shot with him—and really, how could I resist? Thirty minutes and four tequila shots later, I was spat back out on Fremont Street, feeling invincible.
I wandered down to the Griffin with a partner in crime, and after drunken rambling with The Patient Bouncers, Sean and Howard, I entered through the heavy velvet curtains and immediately began the final phase—the Jack Daniel’s dance routine.
This is how it works: One shot Jack Daniel’s/two dubstep songs/one shot Jack Daniel’s/two dubstep songs. Usually, I only do this for about an hour, but there was some sort of magic in the air. We stayed until 6 a.m.
I’m going to make an educated guess that at this point my blood-alcohol level was somewhere around 80 percent. As I walked out of the Griffin and was greeted by the sights, sounds and smells of Fremont Street at 6 a.m. on a Sunday, I promptly vomited on a nearby palm tree. My much more sober companion was in tune with my condition, and he tried to get me to go home. But I was not having it. I was going to have brunch if it killed me.
I lay down on the ground outside of Beauty Bar, as I have been known to do from time to time, and gathered myself while my friend grabbed the car. He dropped me in the front seat and suggested a closer brunch, perhaps the El Cortez Café or Du-pars, but I was steadfast. Hash House! Let’s go. Go!
With that, we took off down Fremont Street and headed south on Las Vegas Boulevard. We hadn’t even made it to Bonneville before I knew that I was going to have to vomit again. He pulled over, and I unleashed the sort of substance that has only ever come from two kinds of people: grape Four Loko drinkers and Linda Blair in The Exorcist.
Hunched over with my head out of the car, the projectile vomiting onto Las Vegas Boulevard lasted 20 minutes. My companion made the executive decision that it was time for me to go home. We continued traveling down the boulevard, and we had almost made it when, just in front of a certain strip club that will remain nameless, I had to engage in yet another bout of retching. As I sat there on the curb in the glow of the strip joint, I looked up to the marquee and saw a shiny beacon of hope: Right beneath the topless cabaret sign was a marquee that read “NOW SERVING BRUNCH.”
Now, I don’t believe in God, but I’ll tell you, at this moment, I sure as hell did. I was like a moth to a flame. My companion had gone into a nearby bar in search of water and paper towels, but once I saw that brunch sign, I had no time to waste. I walked into the strip club, but I’m not entirely sure what happened next. Somehow, I ended up seated in front of the stage watching a girl named Diamond bump and grind with a plate of warmed-up frozen pizza in my lap.
Diamond was exactly the kind of girl that you would imagine would be working a strip club at 6 a.m. on Sunday. She was missing a few teeth, and she had a distinct meth face, but, alas, she was a stripper with a heart of gold. I must have looked lonely or scared or confused, because as soon as she finished her “performance” to “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” she plopped down next to me. She stared at me for a full minute. Finally, she spoke.
“Girl,” she said, “you look rough.”
And that, my friends, is the story of the best brunch in Vegas.