Terrace Restaurant staff at Statler Hotel, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. August 2nd, 2020. (Daniel Ra/Sun Staff Photographer)

November 11, 2020

A Guide to the Best Hangover Food at Terrace

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Cornell can be a cold and hard place. The brutal Ithaca weather combined with equally tough classes can often push some Cornellians to clear their minds through less school sanctioned methods.

Imagine this. After finishing an especially tough prelim or paper in the middle of your week, the only thing you want to do is forget about it. As you scroll through Netflix for the most mind-numbing show available, your friend bursts through the door and hands you a drink. As the ice cold beer hits your lips, your mind sets a goal for this week night’s debauchery: Forget about that damn test.

 You achieve your mission but wake up the next morning for a class on campus with a screaming hangover, making you regret not picking the asynchronous option during pre-enroll. As you suffer through class with a throbbing headache, two needs dominate your mind’s real-estate: water and food. Once you finish class, you can finally sprint to the shining gem of campus hangover meals that is the Terrace at Statler. 

There are three dishes that really stand as the best offerings to a hypothetically hungover student wading into Terrace: their criminally underrated gyro, their pho and their famous orange chicken burrito. On any given day of the week, the burrito line runs long through the foyer and often dwarfs the line for the other offerings combined. In my opinion, it’s truly shameful that the gyro station sits so empty, when its offerings are so fulfilling, especially for a haggard student suffering from the consequences of a long night of drinking. The station offers both a falafel or a lamb and beef option, but my preference is to place meat with a strong accompaniment of onions, lettuce, cucumbers, pickled jalapeños and a beautiful doner sauce that really slices through the heavy and slightly greasy meat with a perfect dance of tanginess, acidity and spice. The combination of the bright, flush vegetables with the generous serving of crispy-thin strips of meat would make a hungover student feel sated and full, but not bloated and feeling like they need to nap from eating a plate of greasy meat wrapped in bread. All in all, the gyro provides a filling, invigorating meal to a student hurting from both their prelims and their wild nights in. 

The Terrace gyro is criminally underrated by many at Cornell, but the mammoth line that stretches from the burrito station is not undeserved, especially its grail of all hangover cures: the orange chicken burrito. This dish is an unabashedly classic rendition of the hangover meal with culinary fusion thrown in for good measure. It’s like a great friend, ensuring that on the rougher Fridays you haven’t fully melted away in a hungover malaise. The sweet, crunchy chicken sits atop a bed of rice and is covered with roasted vegetables, guacamole, sour cream and tortilla strips to add textural variety. A bite of this delicious orange chicken burrito makes you feel like it’s a sunny day in the middle of March after weeks of icy rain. Despite the absolute calorie dump that this meal represents, the rejuvenative benefits are truly unrivalled. Your headache disappears and is replaced with a strong desire for a nap. You go on with your day, incredibly full but surely satisfied.

If these two options are too greasy, too heavy or simply not what you’re looking for, there is one final suggestion that I have to cure you ailments. Terrace pho; the noodles, broth, meat and spice are a light, hydrating and fulfilling option that certainly leaves you feeling better than when you first stumbled up to campus. It isn’t the best pho in the world, or even in Ithaca, but it is a solid and enjoyable dish that can take you from a dead-person-walking to the semi-functional adult Cornell asks you to be. Finding good hangover food can be hard, but whether you want the balance of the gyro, the gluttonous excess of the orange chicken burrito or the restorative lightness of pho, Terrace has a dish for your most hungover self.

Gabe Schiffer is a sophomore in the College of Industrial and Labor Relations. He can be reached at jgs269@cornell.edu.