I have always been a huge fan of IKEA! From my very first kitchen table on saw horse legs, to the sectional in my rec room, and PAX wardrobes that people think are custom built-ins, I feel that my home and I have evolved with IKEA. We furnished our first daughter’s nursery with tons of IKEA stuff, and I’m not sure if that contributed to her love of all things Nordic, which eventually saw her living in Finland and speaking Finnish and Swedish, amongst other things, but I’m sure it helped. And I’ve always enjoyed visiting IKEA stores, walking the showroom for inspiration, the marketplace for creative little things, and eating in the café.
IKEA has been serving food in its stores for about 30 years. Ingvar Kamprad, the company founder, was worried that visitors would get hungry and tired shopping such big stores, so he tasked his manager at the time to come up with a plan to serve food, in the same simple, standardized style that they sell furniture. It must be working, because an estimated 700 million people will eat at an IKEA store in a year, generating about $2 billion in annual revenue, resulting in some 150 million meatballs served. When I became a vegan, I thought my Swedish Meatball days were over, but all that has recently changed. IKEA now has Veggie balls! And they are totally vegan. Even gluten-free. They are a chickpea-base, all vegetable meatball, deliciously served with rice and broccoli and marinara sauce. While it is not the typical Swedish Meatball cream sauce, full of beef broth and cream, the marinara sauce is very tasty and the meatballs have a nice texture that feels like a meatball at each bite.
Added bonus, at my IKEA on Friday after 3PM the regular meatball dinner is just $3.99 for ten meatballs.
They honored that price for the Veggie balls.