I'm checking your Facebook page right now. It says ”OPEN NOW”. I'm also standing outside your restaurant. You're not OPEN NOW. The door is locked. Inside the door there is a note saying ”CLOSED”, but that information is quite redundant, since the locked door already told me that. Instead, what I would have liked to see on that note is an apology to your guests for being closed unannounced. Also, I would have liked to see an explanation. Illness, accident, some temporary problem, renovations, bankruptcy even? Whatever the reason, it's common courtesy to inform your locked out guests!
I'm telling you, I'm sick and f-ing tired of this type of treatment from restaurants. It's the second time it happens to me in less than a week. If you're gonna be closed – inform your guests in advance! This is not The Lord of the Rings, where Gandalf will announce ”meet me at this place in the spring of next year. I will be waiting.” People's time is precious. Also, it's 2016 – people have access to something called the Internet, which is an excellent tool for quickly sending and receiving information. So now that you're closed, why didn't you warn ahead on your website? Oh, that's right, you don't have a website... But apparently you do have a Facebook page. Why didn't you write something there? This is just disrespectful and it's a waste of people's time. And when you disrespect people and waste their time, you piss them off. Trust me on this.
”YOU HAPPENED TO BE THE LAST STRAW”
Now, it might be that I'm lashing out at a restaurant which has gone bankrupt, in which case this is like beating up a dead guy. But how am I supposed to know, when there is no information anywhere? Makarons, as you can probably tell, you're taking a lot of shit from me right now. But you happened to be the last straw. As I mentioned, it's the second time it happens in less than a week that a restaurant just suddenly decides to be closed for the evening, not to mention how many more times it's happened this year alone.
However, despite being quite angry right now, I still intend to review Makarons. I went there tonight to give them one last chance, one last opportunity to change my previous opinion. But now I have no choice, I'll have to write this review based on some pretty bad memories.
I really do/did like the interior. It is/was homely, with lots of wooden parts and a nice touch of class. The window tables are/were especially nice, even though Blaumaņa iela perhaps doesn't provide a very exciting view. So for the interior, I give Makarons a thumbs up. Now on to the menu and the food. My plan here was to use the last visit to check the exact names and ingredients of the dishes I had before, but since it wasn't open... And of course, the menu is not published online either. So I'll just have to wing it.
”MAKARONS SHOULD BE THANKFUL THAT IT'S NOT HIM WRITING THE REVIEW”
Simply put, this is food which looks a lot better on camera than it tastes. I had a few pasta dishes, including a not very authentic Carbonara, and they were all lacking in flavor and the pasta was consistently overcooked. I also tried a salmon dish with (I think) some kind of vegetable puree, and also a beef steak. Same thing here - looked good, didn't taste much. According to one of their ads, Makarons serves ”European food with Latvian flavors”. That might explain the tastelessness*. Now, before you gather around my house with torches and pitchforks, know that I went there a bunch of times with a bunch of different people (yes, locals too), and they all agreed with me. Actually, I went with a Sicilian friend of mine too, and Makarons should be thankful that it's not him writing the review. Come to think of it, he didn't even finish his meal.
In all secrecy, I'm actually a bit relieved that Makarons was closed tonight, because that gave me an excuse to have dinner at a great place instead. But if Makarons is actually alive, and will reopen, I wish for two things: firstly, that they reform their cooking (and use a focus group which isn't allergic to all things with flavor), and secondly, that they learn about the basics of customer care and treat us with the respect we deserve.
Marijas iela 25 (entrance from Blaumaņa iela)
* already during my first week in Riga, my Latvian connections informed me that ” Latvians don't like food which has a lot of taste”, and many sources confirm this, for example a publication on Latvian cuisine (published by the Latvian Institute), which says that ”Latvian foods are characteristically bland, without a use of strong spices”.