Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ikea: Not Just For Working Out Your Allen Wrench

by Erin

Last week, my good pal Max and I went to Ikea in Baltimore to do a little shopping -- and a little eating. I have fond memories from when I was a little girl of family trips to Ikea and the inevitable stop by the cafeteria for Swedish meatballs (I turned into a mighty cranky girl when I was hungry...I guess some things never change!). Our meal at Ikea from last week brought me back and gave me a chance to appreciate the odd yet wonderful foods the Swedes have to offer...assuming this is at all what they eat in Sweden. My hopes are not high.

The cafeteria at the Ikea restaurant separates hot and cold. The cold side has glass cases of plates filled with salads, sandwiches, and desserts, all covered in industrial strength plastic wrap. Then there's the hot bar, which serves hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, french fries, and of course, Swedish meatballs.

Max and I enjoyed several dishes from the Ikea kitchen. First up: gravlax (smoked salmon), served on a bed of greens with a mustard-dill sauce on the side.

The lox was actually quite good - salty, a little fishy, and tender. The mustard sauce had a kick and a bit of sweetness to it, so it went well with the fish and the greens. I only wish there had been a little bit of bread/toast to go with everything.

Next up, everyone's favorite: Swedish meatballs! Ikea has a special where you get 5 more meatballs for $1 and we couldn't resist piling on a few more (we were sharing, after all). With the meatballs came the gravy, mashed potatoes, and of course, lingonberry jam. The meatballs tasted pretty good, but they weren't very hot. The potatoes were fluffy (and served out of an ice cream scoop just like in elementary school) and the gravy was rich and delicious.

Notice the perfectly shaped ball o' potatoes

A forkful of meatball + gravy + potato + jam was a tasty bite, sort of a spin on the flavors of Thanksgiving.

Lastly, for dessert, we got the Daim Torte. I have been hearing about this silly dessert for what seems like months, as it is one of Max's favorite desserts. It's a torte made from daim candies, which are essentially the equivalent of Heath bars (chocolate-covered toffees), which have been ground up, covered in more chocolate, with a layer of cream and cake added. Honestly I don't really remember much more about it except that it was GOOD.

Plastic wrap removal...

It came with a Daim candy, which was excellent

The meal, which included 2 sodas, came to a grand total of $13. What a bargain! In addition to our lovely meal, I got a new nightstand which I'll be assembling this weekend. If I could just find my allen wrench...

Happy furniture shopping/dining -

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