Ecstatic flavor of nachos and more
Comfort comes in different forms: a fuzzy blanket, a favorite song, a hug from someone who really matters.
But some comfort can sneak up on you -- with sharp edges, no less. After living in Asia for more than four years, I'd not only forgotten about nachos and quesadillas, I'd given up on them altogether.
Thankfully, a visit to the Holy Grill in Daegu cured all that. More importantly, it reminded me that simple things like homemade milkshakes, fresh guacamole and friendly servers can put everyone -- even homesick Americans suffering through a South Korean winter -- in a good mood.
We visited twice in one weekend in late February at my insistence.
Our first stop was at night, after we'd already had a huge dinner. I asked for the menu anyway, and before even ordering the nachos that we didn't need, I made a pronouncement: We had to come back for brunch.
That night's nachos, and the quesadillas we inhaled the next day, were our favorites. Both used marinated meats, grilled yet still juicy. They came with fresh salsa, the aforementioned guacamole and lots and lots of cheese. They were a cold beer's dream.
Most meals, sandwiches and dinner salads range from 9,000 to 13,000 won. Most nights, the bar has specials, which also coincide with sporting events on the flat-screen TV.
Snacks include hummus and pita, grilled calamari with various sauces, and poutine -- a Canadian specialty that combines French fries, gravy and cheese. And the bar has five different hamburgers including, of course, the Holy Cow.
One of the owners told us the restaurant had won a survey for best nachos in South Korea. In my corn-chip ecstasy, I forgot to write down the details. But I don't doubt it for a second.
The Holy Grill
Hours: Open for lunch and dinner daily
Prices: Most sandwiches and meals are between 9,000 and 13,000 won, with drinks around 5,000 won.
Specialties: Nachos, nachos, nachos. Sandwiches include Greek and Tex-Mex inspirations, as do brunch offerings on weekends. Bar service includes a selection of drafts, spicy bloody marys and homemade milkshakes.
English menu: Yes
Clientele: Everyone -- students, tourists, Koreans and foreigners
Location: Jung-gu, GongPyung-dong; 61-5, third floor. The Holy Grill's Web site suggests telling the taxi driver "Sam Duck Pal Chul So," or Sam Duck police station. Once you're out of the cab, walk away from the police station. Turn left after Davinci Coffee. The restaurant is on the right. Just look up for the sign.