First, I'm sure there are some of you that are sick of hearing about the new Ikea in Red Hook. You've heard about the people who lined up for free stuff, you heard about locals' reactions to having the store in their neighborhoods. But you haven't really heard about the food at Ikea. Granted, that might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Ikea, but I had heard the food was good, cheap and worthwhile. That said, I went yesterday to check out what they had to offer.
The main dining area is an immediate left after you come up the escalator when you come up from the entrance. It's a big dining area with expansive views if you can get the window seats. The feel of it all reminds me of a really nice university or office cafeteria. It's all clean and stylish.
So I tried out the Swedish meatballs (of course) with some fries, the apple cake, Swedish almond cake, and the Daim torte.
The Swedish meatballs were tasty and plentiful. They came with some lingonberry jam. You also could get the meatballs with a side. A plate of meatballs is $4.99.
They also have chicken tenders, apple-glazed salmon, gravad lax, Buffalo chicken wrap, and chicken Caesar salad. There's also soup and a salad bar. For the kids they have peanut butter and jelly pockets, mac and cheese, and a small portion of Swedish meatballs. For drinks you get a glass cup for soda for $1.29, with free refills, and coffee or tea for 99¢, also with free refills.
My favorite dessert was the Swedish almond cake. The apple cake had a mosaic of apple slices. The Daim torte comes with a Daim candy. The apple cake is $2.29 (add coffee for 50¢); the Swedish almond cake is $1.29; the Daim Torte is $1.79. They also have a Delicato Sampler Plate and Chocolate Mousse.
After you eat, they encourage you to bus your table and bring your tray of dishes (heavy dishes) to a hub of racks.
After eating I made way through the furniture and random stuff back downstairs to the food market and "Bistro," where they have really, really cheap food. Pretzels, cinnamon buns, nonfat frozen yogurt, soda, bottled water, and milk are $1 each. A hot dog is 50¢, and potato chips and coffee are 75¢ each. For combinations: a hot dog and soft drink are $2; a six-pack of cinnamon rolls are $5; and two hot dogs, chips, and a soft drink are $2.50.
I tried a 50¢ hot dog. It is 50¢! I was surprised. The hot dog wasn't bad at all.
At the food market, they have sampling areas. There, if you don't want to commit to an entire plate of meatballs, you can sample one. You can also sample the sparkling juice drinks.
At the food market, among the different things they have, there they also have Swedish fish candies.