The Swedes at Ikea must have studied hard the shopping habits of young Americans, as they've designed a restaurant that appeals to tots (baby food), kids (hot dogs, a play area, etc.), and parents alike. As if to prove a point, a cacophony of kid noises hit our ears as we walked into Ikea's cafeteria on a recent Saturday afternoon.
We were kidless, however, and stuck to the more adult side of the menu. After pondering why Ikea doesn't give its food funny Scandinavian names like it does its wares, we ordered up a manager's special ($5.95)--Swedish meatballs, roasted potatoes, lingonberries, salad, and fountain drink--a true bargain. The meatballs were no better than those found at cocktail parties, but they were edible and nicely spiced, and it was nice to see lingonberries outside their usual Swedish-pancake milieu.
We tried a hot salmon plate ($6.75) with broccoli and roasted potatoes. The salmon fillet, flavored with dill sauce, was properly flaky and not too fishy. We also shared a slice of a Daim chocolate-candy cake ($1.75) that would have pleased the sweetest of teeth. While Ikea's cafeteria isn't worth a stop unless you're already shopping for olsviks and lämpligs, it's a much better option than that mall food court across the parking lot.