Sustain yourself for an IKEA shopping spree with a plate of Swedish meatballs served inside the vast cafeteria on the second floor of the new Winnipeg location.
It takes a special kind of person to face grand-opening day at IKEA Winnipeg, an event decades in the making.
The hype has been on overload for the last few months and in hyper-drive the last few weeks leading up to the Wednesday Nov. 28 opening.
The parking, the crowds, the endless selection of shelving options—it’s enough to drive a person tokig.
But when IKEA’s Swedish meatballs are also at stake, no crowd is too big, no parking lot too jammed.
With that rallying cry, we struck up our courage, ignored our aversion to tea lights and crossed the blue and yellow threshold on what became known as #missionmeatball.
The second-floor restaurant is a massive production with two main food lines that snake by a cold-foods fridge and by a meatball and baked salmon loaded hot table. Diners pick up a tray and follow the pack.
Stating the obvious alert: IKEA isn’t fine dining. Not by a long shot. It’s dressed up cafeteria food served in one of the most beautiful cafeterias you’ve ever seen.
Diners take a seat inside a comfy lounge with deep and divine sofas upon entering the cavernous cafeteria.
Oversized nouveau modern white globe chandeliers hang from the open-duct and beam ceilings.
Light wood tables and chairs populate the floor. Natural light streams through a large bank of parking-lot facing windows.
For a loud, impersonal banquet hall serving food for the masses, IKEA could do worse.
No one comes to IKEA for the food. (Actually, that’s probably not true, but it feels like it should be true.)
Diners can choose from a variety of hot-food combinations including meatballs, salmon, crepes, mashed potatoes and French fries. Tossed salad and root vegetables in a dill vinaigrette are also on the menu. Meatball plates come in a variety of sizes. Insider’s tip: On Tuesdays after 2 p.m. pick up a plate of 15 meatballs with mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry jam for $2.99.
So just how do those meatballs stack up? They’re meaty and they’re balls.
They won’t win any awards for culinary excellence.
They fill bellies and fuel shopping sprees.