IKEA is truly wonderful, especially for getting cheap yet healthy food, some even Swedish specialties. The Swedish Meatballs with mashed potatoes, gravy, and lingonberry jam, and the self-serve salad are the same as in Canada. However, some items are unique to stores in the US and we tried most of what they offered.
I chose a plate of North Atlantic Saithe, which came with one herb crusted fillet of fish, mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables. The fish was firm but slightly tough and dry, certainly not melt-in-your-mouth tender. The batter was somewhat crispy and not too thick. Portions were decent, but despite the mashed potatoes being seasoned and quite flavourful already, I found myself looking for gravy or some kind of sauce. It was creamy and buttery though.
Like in the plate of fish, the Mixed Vegetables also came as a side dish. This is so simple yet I love it. The broccoli was crunchy. The sugar snap peas and regular and yellow carrots were not exactly crunchy but no where near mushy either. There was just no snapping sounds as I chewed. They were so sweet and delightfully refreshing. I totally needed some vegetables, simple and healthy.
The Chicken Tenders with Fries came with four medium-large deep fried chicken strips. The batter was thick enough to be quite crunchy and crispy. The meat inside was slightly dry but quite decent. They ran out of barbecue sauce, unfortunately, but ketchup did the trick. The fries were not bad but nothing special.
The Tomato with Garden Vegetables Soup was quite good. It was slightly watered down, though the thick, red colour did not look like it. The tomato flavour was good and it was not too salty. I loved the mix of vegetables in it, especially the green beans, zucchini, and yellow squash.
Finally, the side of Mac & Cheese was huge – two large scoops we could barely finish. It could have been warmer but at least the cheese was still gooey. The pasta was not too soggy and the cheese was rather ordinary but still flavourful. Sometimes, simple dishes such as pasta with melted processed cheese are the best. This was certainly a good quality comfort food , as good as a fast food place will make it anyways.
The server charged us extra money as she did not count a combo but rather as separate items. There were only a few other customers so naturally, the food was not piping hot all the time and the varieties a little lacking. However, the dining area was clean and bright. We all certainly enjoyed our food while chatting easily.