Some favorable online reviews and ravishing hunger on my way from the airport led me to Street Fries Kitchen in Old Town. Just outside Galerija Centrs, this is a small burger/fries joint with a rather successful interior design. The white tiles covering large surfaces and the big industrial lamps help give this place a modern, urban feel without becoming cold and uninviting. The almost obscene number of different beers above the counter makes me suspect that a part of its clientele go there mostly for liquid nutrition.
”IT SHOULDN'T TAKE 40 MINUTES TO PREPARE A BURGER”
But that’s not why I came - I came for protein! First up was the Hell Chili Burger, and I waited with anticipation for what I hoped would be a fiery gourmet treat. But after a while, I just waited. And waited. And waited... I know the words ”slow food” are printed in the menu, but it shouldn’t take 40 minutes to prepare a burger, especially not when the place wasn’t even half full. Sadly, the burger wasn’t really worth the wait either. It was just another one of those ”looks great, tastes not so great” creations. It did have some spicy power, but it mostly came from a salsa-esque goo which I guess is some kind of spicy ajvar relish, the taste of which didn’t really marry well with the burger.
”WALNUTS, PRUNES OR OTHER ABOMINATIONS”
Next up was another burger. The name of it now eludes me, but it doesn’t really matter, since it turned out to be the same kind of let-down (though it really dawned on me how much I appreciate a runny egg on my food). At least it was served quickly this time. After these two unimpressive meals, I tried something which made me happier. I love pizza, and I love Latvian pankukas, so what could be better than a cross-breed of the two? The big, flat pancake with cheese and ham was a real treat and definitely satisfied the 10-year-old in me. However, I wish they would skip the weird bird seeds sprinkled all over it. It reminded me of when I was a kid and had to go with my parents to visit some old lady, and she served cakes or cookies all ruined by ingredients for adults, such as walnuts, prunes or other abominations.
All in all, I don’t really see how Riga needs a Street Fries Kitchen. It doesn’t occupy an empty niche, and it’s not good enough to outclass its competitors. With burger prices approaching €10, it just won’t do to bring your B game. Sending the cooks on a lengthy study trip to the United States would surely help Street Fries Kitchen’s cooking match the good location and successful interior.
No website, but you can look them up on Facebook and Instagram
Riharda Vagnera iela 18