I was up prowling all night. I couldn't sleep and heard noises outside. Neil and Eric don't hear anything once they're asleep so I keep watch. Sometimes when they're ready to get up in the mornings, I'm ready for a nap. This was one of those days.
I picked up Jan at 9:15 for our outing to IKEA for breakfast and shopping. IKEA, in case you've been out of touch with the world, is the Swedish retailer that opened in March of 2008 in West Chester. Not only is it worth a shopping trip for the unheard of prices and decorating ideas, but the cafeteria located around the corner from the escalator on the second level serves some fine and inexpensive mat (that's food in Swedish). The cafeteria starts serving breakfast at 9:30 am. We were there for the 99¢ regular breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs, diced potatoes, and bacon strips. I opted for an add-on of the over-sized cinnamon roll. Coffee, which is exceptional in my opinion, is free before 10 am when the store opens. We seated ourselves at a bar height table overlooking the parking lot.
|The Dining Room Furnished with IKEA Merchandise|
|The Kid's Area of the Cafeteria|
The dining room is large and furnished with IKEA products including an area for kids. Our bacon was crispy and flavorful, the potatoes were properly cooked, but Jan felt her eggs were a bit too cold for her complete satisfaction. Coming from a large family, her mother had taught them to always serve food hot and to everyone at the same time. Mine were fine and passed my obviously less stringent family rules. Having frequented the IKEA breakfast phenomenon several times, there are mornings when more love has been put into the fixin's. Although certainly adequate for a morning appetite, this is more about a "deal" and the company you're with than a fine dining experience. That said, the cinnamon rolls are quite special. I find them to be fresh and still warm from the oven every time I visit.
|The 99¢ Regular Breakfast|
|The Swedish Meatballs shown with |
the Potato and Broccoli Cakes
After completing our shopping, we returned to the cafeteria a couple of hours later for lunch. This was definitely going to be a nearly all day experience. By the way, for those that can't take the shopping extravaganza (i.e. Eric), there is a lounge adjacent to the cafeteria for reading and people watching. Jan and I both chose the traditional Swedish meatball meal, making substitutions for the mashed potatoes (Jan chose the macaroni and cheese and I went with the potato and broccoli cakes). I've been thinking of those Swedish meatballs since my first visit to IKEA in 1988. They were $2.99 for the meal then and now they are an incredible $3.99. That's just how IKEA operates and part of the reason they are so successful. The meatballs are plentiful (15 of them) and tender in a rich and smooth gravy, accompanied with lingonberry sauce. The veggie cakes remind me of a European meal, and I find them to be a perfect pairing. Jan was disappointed with her mac and cheese, finding it to be a bit too powdery tasting. There are plenty of other options for entrées and Swedish inspired desserts (most of which can be purchased in the downstairs food emporium). It's a pleasant and affordable experience for young and old, shoppers or not.
By now, it's the late afternoon and Eric and Dexter are waiting for me at home. Eric is ready to go to a movie and Dexter is...well,—still sleeping.