It was a Monday evening in Santiago, and I found myself making dinner plans on my own when local colleagues had other commitments. I found HBH referenced in several craft beer articles, so I hailed a cab and headed out to try it.
The Monday night crowd was a bit sparse, and the large space in this bar and restaurant was not quite half full. The servers invited me to sit where ever I wanted, so I took a table in view of one of the large screen televisions, which was showing a soccer match at the moment. The other guests were nearly equally divided among couples and larger groups of friends enjoying a few beers together. I really liked the mellow atmosphere. The noise level was about right, allowing for conversation without yelling.
HBH has a simple menu, printed on a paper place mat at each seat. There are three beers: blond, amber, and dark, served in small or large glasses or pitchers. I explained to the server that I was going to sample all three, so he suggested that I start with the blond. The refreshing blond ale went down smoothly, and I moved to the amber, which I liked even more. After a couple of half-liter glasses, I was approaching my limit for the evening, but the server offered me a sample of the dark beer, and that was enough for me to order one more small glass to be sure that my experience was complete.
The menu offers pizza and sandwiches, along with several traditional Chilean options. My Spanish vocabulary did no yet include dishes such as "chorillana" and "crudo," so I ordered a pizza topped with seasoned ground beef and other ingredients. It wasn't quite enough for dinner, and I continued with another pizza topped with a Chilean sausage. Each pizza had a crispy crust that maintained some sponginess, and the toppings were savory without being overly seasoned.
Several servers attended my table in rotation. Each one was happy to explain the HBH beers and menu items, and I had good chats with a couple of them. It turned out that this was a good place for solo dining. I didn't make any new life-long friends, but the atmosphere was friendly, and I got to exchange a few cordial words with other guests. I'll return to HBH, with or without my own friends, for nice beer and well prepared pub food.
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