Apparently, there is but one Ikea in a one ore two city radius of Ottawa, so it is often packed to the gills with customers, eager for bargain home furnishings. Me, I’m not a fan of Ikea furniture, save for some of the tables. However, I am a fan of some of the inexpensive kitchen wear.
I am also a fan of its little cafeteria and I am not alone. I’ve read tweets, blog entries, and even submissions to Yelp and the like about the virtues of the “complete Ikea experience”: a meandering trip on the directed path through each of the store’s departments and hunkering down to a plate of Swedish meatballs with fries, lingonberry jam, and a fountain drink.
The price can’t be beat:
10 meatballs with gravy, lingonberry sauce, potatoes or fries, and a soft drink.
Is this gourmet food? No, but I’ll bet a lot of fine foodies would be tempted. Even with its salty and floury sauce, fried from frozen fries (though fried up crisp and not greasy), and more than likely deep fried from frozen meat balls, the plate pairs a balance of flavors. It demonstrates that savory goes very well with deeply tart and sweet flavours. Ketchup has been all but replaced in my house. One of its replacements: lingonberry jam!
Of late, my better half and I have been making it a pseudo-tradition that we split a plate of Ikea meatballs slightly before lunch on days when dinner will be a multi-course banquet. It is all we eat. This tradition started the day we first went to Ottawa’s Atelier and continued recently with another 15 courser. Here are pics from my then dying (now dead) digital camera:
The white/yellow mass was supposed to be mac ‘n cheese. My advice: stick with the meatballs.
No, I haven’t forgotten the 50 cent hot dogs, but, if you are going to visit a multi-national purveyor of affordable furniture that originated in Sweden, why not try the store’s take on its indigenous food? Heck the Ikea website even has a page or two dedicated to its cafeteria food.
Pinecrest Shopping Center
2685 Iris Street
1 (866) 875-4532