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Posted by Alexei on 02/23/2012
This was one of the worst experiences I have had at a restaurant in recent memory, so bad that it made me write on a food website for the first time. My wife and I came upon a Groupon for Maza on the last day from my sister who was unable to use it. The place was packed and the owner was visibly frustrated. I understand the last days can sometimes be crazy. We got a table no problem, barely beating the rush. Not seeing any alcohol on the menu, I zipped next door for some beers. My bad for assuming it was a BYOB (apparently they only serve Lebanese wine), but instead of politely saying we couldnt drink the beers, the owner growled at us about it. Then he dismissively took our orders, would not let us put in our entree, and then told my wife impolitely that we need to wait. At the end when I went to pay he made some arbitray calculation, said I owe $4 after the groupon, and smugly said "you can afford $4 can't you?", before telling me that we could've used the groupon on another day past the expiration, why are we (sort of saying this about everyone) worrying about it?" Huh? The whole night he was treating everyone as if they invaded HIS restaurant. We're here to give you $$$, don't you get it? All I have to say is this is the third time while using a Groupon/ similar coupon that someone has given crappy service or not allowed us to use it (see Sarajevo Restaurant and Bolat Restaurant). To all the restaurants out there using Groupon or Restaurant.com, or anything else, if you can't handle it, don't sign up. Nobody forces restaurants to use this service. I'm really tired of this crap, seriously.
Posted by Karen on 01/25/2012
Fabulous food. As a woman of Lebanese heritage, it felt like home! The food was just like grandma made. Small, intimate setting. I've only lived here a few years, so I had just found out about it, and happy I did.
Posted by Anonymous on 01/16/2012
We ate dinner at Maza recently since we had a Groupon coupon and wanted to try it. First off, there is no signage so it is a bit hard to find. We enjoy Mediterranean food so were looking forward to trying several dishes. The hummus was the best I have tasted, cheese pie was good as was the lentil soup, and salad. The entrees we ordered were baked kebbeh, kebbeh naeih and beef shawarma - all of which were excellent . We also got a bottle of wine at the recommendation of the owner and he brought us a plate of 4 dessert rolled cookies we did not order at the end of the meal which we assumed it was included with the meal. We ordered espresso which was very weak - not what we expected so I would recommend not getting coffee. We were informed of the cash requirement for the Groupon after we received the bill and fortunately had enough cash, but the total was alot more than we had anticipated. We were surprised that the bottle of wine (which was good but not great) was $30. Total price was more than expected, but we decided that the food and experience was worth it for us. One note was that when we arrived on a cold 20 degree Chicago night, there was no heat on and it was very dimly lit so we had to eat with our coats and gloves on as well as read the menus by candlelight. The man mentioned that the heater was broken and needed to be repaired. For us it was a fun and humorous experience we can talk about even though we were a bit cold. We noticed that another table complained alot about the lack of heat and light. But by being pleasant with the owner I think we got better service and attitude. I would recommend going, but being friendly and relaxed with time will make your experience.
Posted by Paul L on 03/14/2011
Appetizing food but poor service/attitude. I use groupon discounts for restaurants regularly and thought that I would give Maza a try, but it turned out to be a disappointing experience. I went with a friend and we ordered two appetizers, some Lebanese coffee and two entrees - no problem at all with the food or the speed of service. When we asked for the bill, the waitress asked whether we would like to order some desserts, because we were pretty full already we declined her. Then the owner came and delivered a plate of 4 small Lebanese pastry/delicacies to our table. He explained what they were and how we should eat them with the dip. We tried them and they were good in taste. Now he presented this plate as if it was a small special treat, but what we discovered when we received the bill was that he charged us $8.00 for this plate - 4 small Lebanese cookies which we did not request and was not on the menu. (All proper desserts ranged between $3 - 6) Of course, when I asked the waitress to explain about the dessert we did not order, she said the owner said this is "a groupon rule", which I know is untrue but decided not to argue, instead just pay and leave. What's more disappointing was the owner imposed an 18% gratuity for a party of two. I am fine with paying 15% to 20%, but it was simply rude to impose 18% as if he thought his service demanded that amount or that he suspected we would be indecent and pay less than fair. My impression is that this restaurant has been popular business-wise due to the groupons; however the owner decided that he would do his best to recoup the discount by billing us as excessively as possible.
Posted by Aaron on 01/27/2011
I have been going to Maza since virtually the day it opened - and started eating the owner's food when he worked at another Lebanese restaurant in the city 20 years ago. This is a man that cares about his customers and the food he puts out n his restaurant. If you are in a hurry - this may not be the best place to go as Joseph (the owner) provides his personal touch to each table. The person that posted about a terrible experience must be talking about a different restaurant as I have been to Maza at least 50 times and have had great service, food, etc and have seen this provided to every customer. A great restaurant!!
Posted by Paul on 06/17/2009
The food and atmosphere at Maza is fantastic. If you are looking to get a quick bite to eat I would suggest going elsewhere. The owner is the only server at Maza so it will take longer than usual to get your food, drinks, bill, etc. The atmosphere, quality of food, and reasonable prices, easily make up for the slow (but friendly) service.
Posted by Liz on 06/15/2009
My husband and I love this place. We don't live in the neighborhood, but make a special trip to eat here whenever possible. The restaurant is small and intimate. The food is delicious from the appetizers, soups, main course, and dessert. The owner is also your server, and has been there every time we've gone. I would highly recommend giving this restaurant a try!