In a way, the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie was strangely appropriate. But it was pure coincidence that HBO happened to be showing Street Fighter when I sat down at the newest branch of Bangkok's House of Beers and ordered a Leffe Brown. Deciding I wanted something other than noodles for lunch, I had wandered down to Aree Garden in search of pub grub and a malty ale. Little did I know that the Muscles from Brussels would be on the menu, too.
I also didn't anticipate the range of beers that I'd be able to choose from, with nary a domestic brand among them. Besides predictable draft standards like Hoegaarden and Stella Artois, HOBS carries more than two dozen Belgians in bottles, including Trappist ales from Rochefort, Orval, and Chimay. In fact, they claim to have the greatest Belgian beer selection in Thailand.
True or not, I expect to be back in the near future, probably on another quiet afternoon when splurging on a drink seems like a good excuse to leave the house. With tax and tip, my bill came to 601 Baht (about $20) for the Leffe and a croque madame accompanied by fries and a small salad. Not exactly a bargain, but definitely worth it if I can watch Timecop on my next visit.