A Google Maps search for the Holy Grail this Saturday turned up a location at the intersection of 121 and Preston Road in Plano.Very clever, Joseph of Arimethea. Very clever. Hide the chalice of our Lord in a prefab, pop-up shopping center smack dab in the center of exurban purgatory.
But apparently old Joe also dropped off a recipe for a very fine Eggs Benedict and brisket hash while he was at it.
The idea of a delicious brunch served in a wannabe European pub in a strip mall in Plano sounded about as likely to me as a random carpenter's kid from the middle of nowhere growing up to cure leprosy and rise from the dead after being well and thoroughly crucified. But I am nothing if not credulous (I do the ghosts, remember?), and as the Man O' The Hour and I were driving back from a romantic and extremely classy getaway to the Choctaw Casino Resort in Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon, the Holy Grail Pub was about as convenient to us as it was ever going to be.
Brunch at the Holy Grail is served until 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, which is extremely convenient for busy schedulers and late risers who can't always get to an Eggs Benedict before 2 p.m. on a Sunday. For Dallasites, it is well worth the drive. For Planoites, well, count your freaking blessings and light a candle for the Holy Mother, because as far as I can tell, the Holy Grail is the best, if not the only, thing going for you. And I say that out of love, Plano. It's all love.
I usually start with a Bloody Mary rundown, but that's going to have to wait for now. We're doing the Benediction first, as it were. Because the Holy Grail's Eggs Benedict were some of the finest I've had. Fluffy poached eggs sat atop thick but supple slices of ham and buttermilk biscuits, topped with what has thus far been the best Hollandaise sauce in all the kingdom. Thick and buttery, the Holy Hollandaise stuck to egg, biscuit and ham in equal measure, never jaunting across the plate in search of escape. All too often, Hollandaise disappears into the Benedict's more flavorful elements, but not this time.
Man O' The Hour ordered the brisket and hash, a pile of tender beef topped with a couple evenly fried, spiced eggs and cubed taters with onion and pepper on the side. Certainly the flavorful potatoes at Holy Grail could teach Mextopia's bland side dish a thing or two--who'da thought, a Euro-pub that does spicy potatoes better than one of Dallas' most storied Tex Mex families?
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The brunch menu is limited--in addition to the brisket and the Benedict, the Holy Grail offers a couple more traditional American breakfast plates--biscuits, bacon, you get the drift. But the full bar menu is also available, and we have it on good authority that their burger is heavenly. Prices are more than reasonable--brunch items were $10 or less.
But the main thing to remember, when ordering, is to opt for the custom Bloody Mary, rather than the bar-made one. Our first Bloodys were fine--though not made of Zing Zang, and a little sweet rather than spicy--but at $5.50, reasonably priced. On the second try, we went for the custom option. The Holy Grail provides the vodka and tomato juice, leaving a spice rack of Tabasco, onion powder, celery salt and pepper for diners who'd like to mix their own Mary. I could complain some--it'd be nice to see horseradish and Worcestershire added to the spice rack, along with more garnish than just a lemon and a lime slice--but the opportunity to build a personalized drink is always appreciated. I got to load my Mary up with onion powder, which I verily love.
Between a customized Bloody Mary and one of the best Benedict plates ever, I now consider myself a worshipful follower of the Holy Grail. Amen.