Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Dec. 20
How to Eat at Brian's
Step 1: Await the Weekend
Brian's keeps normal hours on weekdays, but on the weekends it's a 24-hour after-party paradise. Honestly, it's the kind of cuisine best left to those times when you're not sure if it's tomorrow yet or still tonight. It's not that the food is bad, it's just that they serve such large portions that the average dish on the menu contains almost as much food as someone with an appetite on the smaller side of normal might eat in an entire day. There are special occasions for this kind of thing.
Step 2: Attend Booty Bassment (or Alternative, High-Energy Dance Party)
Developing sufficient appetite for a trip to Brian's is easy if the pre-dinner ritual involves hours of jumping, bumping, grinding, and sweating in a tiny room packed with so much groove that even the walls get sweaty.
Step 3: Bathe
Seriously. You're probably filthy. It's two-thirty in the morning, you've got all the time in the world. Dress cozy afterward and start thinking about hash browns.
Step 4: Brian's (Finally!)
Tired, starving, awash in that middle-of-the-night kind of clarity that doesn't seem so clear the next day; this is the perfect condition. Brian's menu is huge and basically everything is available all the time except for the dinner specials. Breakfast, sandwiches, desserts, coffee, beers, cocktails, soups, salads, and burgers; if you can think it, it's probably on the menu. The big downside is that nothing is cheap. Appetizers routinely stray into double-digit prices, and burgers or sandwiches can be $11-$13.50 easily.
The price of entry is steep, but most of the sandwich plates come with two full-sized side dishes that can include cups of chili, generous side salads, mac 'n' cheese, and sweet potato fries. A sandwich with two full sides is a lot of food. Ordering one appetizer and a sandwich plate is enough food for three people.
Throw in an ice cream shake ($4.89) to take it to the next level.
Breakfast is a little cheaper, with plenty of items in the $7-$9 range. Portions are still generous, but within the realm of possibility for one person to eat and still be able to walk out the door afterward. Pancakes can be absolutely killer before bed as opposed to just after waking.
There's a certain glory in digging into excessive volumes of diner-style, American comfort food. It's a gastronomical excess for sure, but there's a time and place for which such things are perfectly suited.
Brian's American Eatery
1451 Washington St
Open Friday at 7 until Sunday night at 10!