Hogs Salchichería is the new trendy joint in Santiago. I, a dedicated hot dog hater, was tempted by the promise of non-hot dog sausages. I love sausages, but the Chilean selection is severely lacking, so anything that tries to change that gets my attention. Hogs offers several types of sausages with varied toppings, sauces and buns.
Since I was worried the pork salchichas would really just be gourmet hot dogs, I first went for the lamb sausage and kept it simple with only tzatziki sauce. Was it the best Greek food I’ve ever had in my life? No. Was it a good sausage? Hell yes. Rodolfo chose the all-pork hogs with cheddar sauce, caramelized onion, pickles and bacon and the supersized super hogs made Chilean-style with the italiano topping of avocado, tomato and mayo (plus some mustard for good measure). Both got the thumbs up.
We washed our first round down with a strawberry-mint lemonade and a mango-ginger lemonade, which were good if a bit watered-down. Another note of creativity beyond simply sodas and beers.
Still hungry, I this time tried my own hogs with cheese and very spicy sauce (yes, that’s really what it’s called). Another winner. Rodolfo tried the beef and pork frank again italiano but with barbecue sauce this time.
You may notice there’s a third hot dog on the left. That right there is photographic proof of the downside of our Hogs experience: the service. While we were waiting, another group suffered an order confusion: a hot dog that had been ordered without mayonnaise was served with it. These things happen, but the staff’s approach was to deny that the customer had ever asked for no mayo.
Rodolfo placed our second order. He started to order a hot dog with cheese and egg for himself then stopped, saying “no, scratch that, that would be excessive.” He never chose his bread or a sauce, as you can see by the distinct lack of sauce in the photo. He thought the total he paid sounded high but didn’t check the receipt until we were served: the cashier hadn’t erased the unwanted sausage.
Again, these things happen, although two mistakes in half an hour seems a bit much, especially on a Saturday night when a restaurant should present its A-team. But yet again, the cashier denied any responsibility or recollection of Rodolfo’s correction. Rodolfo had to approach him a second time to insist that he was in the right and deserved his money back or a credit for the amount he was incorrectly charged. You can’t even blame the mistakes on working too fast as everyone behind the counter seemed relaxed to the point of being slow.
Hogs is hot. The food is good, but you only get so long to impress the public. I’d hate to see a fun place with a good taste go down due to poor service. We’ll be back on the strength of the sausages, but I don’t know that we’d give it a third shot if anything were to go wrong next time.
Edit: One thing Hogs does well is social media. Their team saw my tweet mentioning this post and the poor service I received, and they offered a free hot dog and lemonade on my next visit. Rodolfo and I went again this past weekend, and the cashier honored that promise and overall seemed to be a bit more service-oriented, so hopefully a little constructive criticism has done its job!
More in this series:
Saturday in Santiago