It has been a while since I stepped foot into an IKEA. This is usually everyone’s go to for transitioning furniture. Cheaper pieces that look good, but you know won’t be an investment and a part of your final and dream home. However today we came just for their lunch. Everyone comes for the showrooms, but end up staying for the meatballs anyways
The walk to the cafeteria cleverly involves circles past their show rooms and loops through their display shelves of impulse buys. Even hours before lunch, on a Wednesday resulted in a cue against the railings. You grab a plastic tray and work your way past refrigeration units that keep sandwiches fresh and desserts solid. You grab what you want and make your way down the line. The sandwiches and wraps came in a variety of meats and vegetables. And like the salads they were pre made and packaged in Saran Wrap for an easy grab and go experience. The desserts were by the ball or slice depending on what you were hankering for. Chocolate bars, pink princess cakes, and fruity pies were some of the highlights
Making our way to the front we ordered off the over head menu. I watched as trays came to the heating table hot and ready to be served, and others behind them left empty, one after another. You pass by a tray of sides as you join the cue at either of the two cash desks to pay. Everything required a wait, but for the money you saved you can spare a little time.
For those who manage to fill more than the number of trays they can carry, or for those dining with children, there is a buggy available to help. Its sole purpose is to help you cart your trays to your seats. With a necessary stop at the cutlery and condiment station to grab a fountain drink and your essential accompaniments.
It has been a while, so were disappointed to find out that IKEA no longer used reusable metal cutlery and washable cups to eat and drink out of. Instead you were expected to reach into and grab one from
a box of white plastic spoons, and forks, and knives. Formerly, an appeal of eating at IKEA was the cozy homey feeling you got with every meal. Something perpetuated by the metal and plastic spoons and cups. Otherwise it is just dishes you can and rather make for yourself in the comfort of your own home. So today it was just comfort foods scooped for us to be eaten amongst a group of strangers.
We ended up getting more than we needed, but having everything only total to $17, there was no regret. You eat at IKEA knowing the food wouldn’t be five star. The food will taste as expected in its most simplest of forms. But at the prices they charge, you still leave happy and full, with more of your money. Win win.
Had to get the Swedish meatballs. Delicious and cheap. Filling when served with mashed potatoes and their trademark lingonberry jam. We got the 20 ball combo only to have 5 balls to many, and regretting that the 15 piece would have been just right.
Rotisserie chicken leg with a scoop with mashed potatoes and gravy and a slice if garlic bread on the side.
Not wanting to take a chance in the salmon, but wanting to try the vegetables croquettes that it came with, I was delighted to be able to get them as a side. Each, a potato cake with broccoli and cheddar cheese. It surprised me how good these were. I would buy a pack frozen to be able to have these at home when I wanted.
A breakfast plate from a previous visit, with toast, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, sausage and bacon. I liked the parsley placed for colour.
The room is aptly called cafeteria and brings back memories of school lunches. I recall trying to have a conversation over a larger gathering of people, ones you don’t necessary want to eat with. The service is brief and its all business. You get yours, get rung in, and choose your table amongst 100s.
Will I go back? – Be it furniture or food, I will be back to IKEA for one reason or another, until I can afford West Elm.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Almost as well known as their showrooms, their meat balls have everyone coming for lunch. I suggest a trip to have the IKEA experience for yourself. Don’t deny your cravings.