EPS (justeps) wrote,

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The Wonder that is IKEA

They say PBS is remarkable, not just for what it is, but in its ability to serve as its own parody. IKEA strikes me as much the same: if it didn't exist, someone would have to invent it.

I let it slip that I'd had yet to experience IKEA's famous Swedish Meatballs, and found myself dragged off to their "restaurant" (as opposed to the "snack bar"). Think "cafeteria meets Iron Chef," and the "secret ingredient" is lingonberries. Everything has lingonberries.

Imagine a plate of turkey with cranberry sauce. Now substitute "swedish meatballs" for "turkey" and "lingonberry" for "cranberry." Get the idea?

I briefly considered the lingonberry cheesecake for dessert, but settled on the lingonberry mousse.

Drinks come from a self-service soda fountain (with free refills!). IKEA offers Pepsi products (boo!), but Mountain Dew isn't one of the selections. I wanted something with caffeine, and the most palatable choice was unsweetened iced tea. Mixing 2/3 of that with 1/3 lingonberry juice (not to be confused with the lingonberry drink) seemed to work out pretty well.

The store itself is laid out like a Disney theme park ride, minus the tracks and cars. You proceed along the marked path, with its many twists and turns, at your own pace. The products range from OK to mediocre to just plain hideous. It's as if an art college held a design competition, then couldn't decide on the winners. Everyone's a winner!

In short: Take what works, leave the rest. You won't go wrong with the Swedish Meatballs.

Tags: food

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