The sun-swathed room is broken up by the rhythms of the furniture it contains. Near the window, long wooden tables are lined up with comfortable wooden chairs. In the middle, round tables cluster for groups who want a bit more space around them. By the wall, there are bar stools and tables, diners perched on their heights. All the furniture is in tastefully-coordinated pale hues - woods and white plastics. And all of it acts as one big Ikea advertisement for the Ikea lifestyle.
The other week, since we had a rental car handy, C. and I took the 406 and ended up in Edmonton* to buy more bookshelves. While we were there, it being lunchtime, we thought we'd try out some of the chain's fabled food - fabled for being remarkably good given how inexpensive it is.
I started with a somewhat rubbery herring appetizer, two pieces each marinated in each of three sauces. The plain pickled ones were pleasantly piquant, but the others were overly sweet. We both had Swedish meatballs and chips for our main, a heavy, filling dish topped with optional gravy and the successfully sweet contrast of lingonberry sauce. The meatballs were nicely seasoned, but the dish was too much for me to quite finish, especially since I had a lingonberry mousse awaiting me for dessert. The mousse was pleasant, only slightly on the too-sweet side, and thankfully small.
Between us we had 1 appetizer, 2 mains, 2 deserts, and 2 drinks - all for less than UKP 10. The food was decent, sometimes good, sometimes nothing special, but it was all edible and hey - for that price? It's hard to do much better.
* Canadian reference, of sorts.