- I went to IKEA in Red Hook to eat everything on the restaurant menu.
- I ate vegetable soup, blackberry and blue cheese salad, gravlax, coleslaw, chicken fillets, Swedish meatballs, salmon balls, vegetable balls, dinner with salmon, a marzipan cake and a chocolate cake.
- There were real winners and losers in the mix, but gravlax – the traditional Scandinavian salted salmon with dill – was by far the best dish.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
When you walk into IKEA, you have to prepare for a long and arduous journey.
You’ll traverse vast plains of pillows and chipboard, overcome towers of glasswork, and weave your way through mazes of atmospheric lightning before exiting the checkout aisle victorious.
Such a trip requires subsistence, and since Sweden has yet to figure out how to bake elf bread, IKEA has the next best thing – their cafeteria-style restaurant in the middle of the store.
I’ve been occasionally (who goes to regularly buy furniture?) In IKEA’s cafeteria since the late 90s, when my mom would drag me a pint on furniture trips.
I used to dread visits to IKEA for fear of being stranded in the play area with TVs that always seemed to broadcast the animated series “Alvin and the Chipmunks” on Cartoon Network. But after enduring several hours of torture singing cartoon rodents, I could sometimes make my mother feel guilty by buying myself a plate of IKEA meatballs.
Read more: I ate the same meal at Texas Roadhouse and Outback Steakhouse, and one was clearly the winner.
IKEA’s Swedish meatballs are perhaps the furniture giant’s most iconic dish. But are they his only dish? Far from there.
In fact, IKEA offers two other types of balls: salmon and vegetables. And in fact, IKEA even offers cakes, chocolate, chicken fillets, fries, salad, soup, and gravlax – traditional Scandinavian salted salmon with dill – among others.
I decided to return to IKEA with the new goal of trying all the food in their restaurant. Like Frodo and Gandalf at the end of âThe Lord of the Ringsâ sailing to the Eternal Lands, I embarked on the 20 minute ferry ride from Battery Park to Red Hook, ready for my next adventure.