Ikea: Food and Furniture For Under $10…
Would it seem odd for someone to visit an establishment that was known for something other than food, just to eat? I’m not too proud to admit I’ve visited gas stations for BBQ and tacos. I’ve also frequented Ikea’s downstairs snack shack for $0.50 hot dogs. But, this time I was hell-bent on eating Thursday’s roasted chicken and mashed potato special at the proper restaurant. Like a proper human-being. What would one expect for $2.99? Probably what I (and this person Tee hee…Meatballs. For Cheap! At Ikea!) received.
Personally, I rather enjoy the feel of a cafeteria, especially when it doesn’t smell like brussel sprouts (even when they’re not on the menu). More so, I enjoy the feel of a cafeteria in the middle of a department store. It gives me warm memories of my nana-induced visits to the Woolworth counter, staring at the jade green Hamilton-Beach milkshake mixer, caressing the chrome trim of the counter top, legs dangling from the tall stools. It’s all about nostalgia, and the older I become, the more I crave nostalgia.
I grabbed a tray, a piece of pie with almonds, whipped cream and chocolate ($2) and made way for the chafing dishes of warm food. What was that, disgruntled employee? It’ll be twenty-minutes until more chicken comes out of the oven? Come again? Oh, and you’re also out of the mashed potatoes. Well, isn’t that special? Sure, I’ll wait. It’s not a problem that you’re holding my hunger hostage. I’ll just hold myself over with my dining companion’s Swedish meatball combo meal. If only they had cheese curds, the Swedish meatball meal could have been poutine. French fries (remember, out of mash), meatballs, teaspoon of lingonberry sauce and all covered in gravy for $4. Thirty-minutes later, my ill-received chicken quarter (leg and thigh attached) with french fries (still out of mash) came to me.
Honestly, it wasn’t entirely awful. The meat was falling off the bone tender, kind of highly seasoned, and homey feeling. I don’t know where else to get a $3 meal that isn’t fast food or some hand-held street food attire. I imagine it would have been a lot more complete with mash instead of fries.
More importantly, once we sat in furthest North corner, away from demanding minion-offspring, sounds of pleading parents and soiled tabletops strewn with steamed carrots, we insulated ourselves. We watched the sky turn hues of gold and orange while the sun set over the San Francisco bay, turning palm trees into mere silhouettes. Now, if that view ain’t worth $3, I don’t know what is. Who knew it was possible to turn sharing a bottomless carbonated drink and $3 chicken and fries into something romantic.
I find the oddest shit romantic.
4400 Shellmound Street
Emeryville, CA 94608(510) 420-4532