Friday, February 17, 2012

Swedish Easter Smorgasbord at IKEA in March

Before Christmas I wrote about the special holiday smorgasbord that IKEA store restaurants were serving for two seatings on one night only. I mentioned at that time that there is also similar smorgasbord served at Easter. These two special all you care to eat meals are annual events at IKEA. They take place at all IKEA locations. I was not able to go to the Christmas meal but we are planning on going to the Easter event.

This year the Easter Smorgasbord will take place on March 23, 2012. There will be two seatings. The first seating is from 4:00 to 5:30 pm and the second seating is from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Each, obviously an hour and a half. IKEA restaurant dining rooms are not large so there is a limited amount of seating available at each meal. You must purchase tickets in advance. IKEA is saying now, which they did not say at Christmas (I don't recall) that no tickets will be sold the day of the event. They are saying that now - no tickets will be sold on March 23. If you want to go you must decide in advance, and don't wait too long to purchase tickets. The price of this special all you can eat buffet is... $9.99. Children under 12 are just $2.49. The price is unbelievable.

What will be served is traditional to a Swedish Easter celebration dinner. The meal will include:

Assorted Herring
Hardboiled eggs with mayo and shrimp
Hardboiled eggs with herring roe or tångkorn
Shrimp with cocktail sauce
Marinated Salmon with Mustard Sauce
Smoked Salmon with Horseradish Sauce
Poached Salmon
Assorted Cheeses
Tossed green salad
Cucumber salad
Red Beet Salad
Breads: Crispbread, Crisprolls, Dinner rolls
Swedish Meatballs
Mashed Potatoes
Boiled potatoes w/dill, Lingonberries
Swedish Ham with Mustard
Gratäng Jansson
Assorted Swedish desserts and cookies
Fountain Beverages, Hot beverages

If you are Swedish or Scandinavian you know what some of these things are beyond the obvious items written in English. I have no idea, but it all sounds good. While I have never experienced one of IKEA's smorgasbord special events, I have eaten at IKEA restaurants many times and the food is fine. There are several things on this menu that are not usually offered and there are a number of items that are standardly served at the IKEA restaurants. You cannot beat the price. Just an order of the meatballs and an order of the smoked salmon together cost more than the price of the entire smorgasbord! This sounds like a good and unique experience for a great price.

We will be there this year and I will tell you all about it after the meal. If you are interested go as soon as possible to your nearest IKEA store and purchase your tickets.


Linnea said...

utmärkt utväljande och utmärkt kostnad utom fattig kvalitet.

Writer said...

I translated the above and it translates roughly to:

"Excellent designation and excellent cost except poor quality."


For $9.99 we are not expecting great quality. But the food at Ikea is not bad.

Sara said...

My mother-in-law is Swedish. The writer is saying "Excellent variety (or selection), excellent cost but poor quality." We've had their meatballs and a few other things. Not bad, but it IS a case of you get what you pay for. They are not providing the best stuff for those prices, even on an every day basis in their restaurant. Kind of the McDonald's of Swedish food.

Anonymous said...

I've been in food service for 27 years, still am. There is a saying in my business that you get what you pay for. The writer, Sara, is correct. Food prices for my industry are sky high right now. I have eaten in both IKEA and OCB. If they were providing average or better quality meats, sauces, condiments, etc. they would have to charge at least $23-$28 per meal. Obviously, they charge much less. Based on my experience in the industry, I would not eat in an AYCE buffet if they charged LESS than $20 per meal (with the exception of Sweet Tomatoes). Simple economics. These companies are not in business to lose money on each meal, so they cut corners in certain areas that you probably wouldn't want them to. Sorry to tell you all this, but it is the truth. Sizzler was the same way, very well known in the industry.

Writer said...

Everyone is free to dine wherever they feel comfortable. I have been eating at AYCE restaurants that charge below $20 per meal for years. I have eaten at IKEA's restaurants. The food is fine. There are many that cannot afford to eat out for more than $12 or so dollars per person - so they and their families go where they can afford.

What is interesting is only articles about IKEA draw these types of comments. IKEA's restaurants are an convenience for their customers. They are not in the restaurant business and their prices are low to keep their customers in the store to eat while they shop - and this includes their restaurants with less than $7 platters and their cafe with their 50 cent hot dogs. I have never gotten sick eating at an IKEA - I have at a few restaurants (not buffets) were the dinner prices were well over $25 per person.

The majority of our readers - and we have a lot of them - appreciate a meal at a low price.

Again, as I state in the article, we have not been to IKEA for one of these AYCE meals. I am sure the food will be no different than what they serve in their restaurants every day. We will be going in March and we are looking forward to it.

Gladys from Harrisburg said...

I see both sides of the quality issue. I've also been in food service for many yrs. (30-plus). Food costs ARE very high today. IMHO, however, food quality is acceptable to the consumer UNTIL they get sick. Getting sick even once negates the satisfaction one recieves in getting an AYCE meal for a low price. For me and my family, I would err on the side of caution and avoid the under-$20's. The other issue is that the fat and hormone content of the meat, and the filler content of the dressings, gravies, etc. will be higher for the low-priced AYCe's. Taste may be the same, but the food will not be. It comes down to individual choice. Writer says that "There are many that cannot afford to eat out for more than $12 or so dollars per person - so they and their families go where they can afford." Very true. But one trip to the doctor, or to the drug store for stomach medicine, will cancel any benefit of the low price. Not to say...people DO get sick in high priced AYCE's and menu restaurants. Just less often.

Clairette said...

CiCi's Pizza is a cheap AYCE, never got sick there. OCB, twice, cured me of THAT. I agree about Sizzler. We have our IKEA tickets, first seating. My husband and I will be abstaining from all food for 72 hrs. prior to the date for maximum capacity. Even at 9.99 we will be seeking our moneys worth as usual. 77 and 79 yrs. young, very tight fixed income.

Writer said...

I write about many inexpensive buffets - and generally they have always been good. When a buffet is not good for whatever reason I let my readers know about it. And I have been to some high priced buffets and they have been terrible. I have been to some under $10 buffets and they have been great - and others have agreed that they are great.

It troubles me that when I write about IKEA - this is the second article - first about the Christmas Buffet and now about the Easter Buffet, we get these comments about poor quality, bad food, and so on - and rarely from anyone that identifies themselves or says I ate there on such and sun and this is what happened. It is always conjecture - but none of this conjecture on other inexpensive buffets. I can only conclude that the people who are commenting in this way have some axe to grind with IKEA. Things have been said in these comments that would lead one to believe that all of the commenters have had this buffet meal and there was some problem with it. Actually, none have stated that they have eaten there at all. As a result, I will not publish anymore comments on this article that are in this same vein. I am not going to let this be a way to get at IKEA for whatever reason you are mad at them. To me they are OK -if you don't want to ever eat in their restaurants then don't.