Monday, August 8, 2011

In mall capital of Paramus, IKEA's four-letter days spell 'free food'

Logo of Ikea. Drawn by Mysid on a PNG original...Image via Wikipedia
IKEA offers a real alternative to fast food.


The restaurant-cafe in the IKEA store in Paramus has always been known for good food at reasonable prices. 

Now, the store is offering a free breakfast on Mondays and free meals for kids on Tuesdays, plus a lower price for its traditional Swedish meatballs. 

As you'd expect, a line of about 15 to 20 people formed not long after 9:30 a.m. opening today. 

There were young, old, white, black, Hispanic and Asian customers, some with kids in tow -- reflecting the demographics of North Jersey.

The free breakfast -- usually 99 cents -- includes scrambled eggs, potatoes and bacon or sausage, as well as unlimited coffee, and it's served until 11 a.m.

I got two ice-cream scoops of eggs and a large metal spoon's worth of potatoes, but I asked the counter guy to hold the meat.

A dish of organic pasta with sauce -- normally $1.99 -- is 99 cents on Mondays after 11 a.m.

On Tuesdays, kids can get any of three combination meals for free -- meatballs, chicken tenders or mac and cheese -- including a drink. Normally, they are $2.49. 

In Paramus, free meals for kids are available every day through Aug. 21, according to the Web site.

A hot dog and soda in the Bistro is $1 on Fridays -- a price cut of 50 cents. 

Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, cream sauce and ligonberries are now $2.99, compared to $3.29 last year.

For $4.99, you can get cold-smoked and marinated salmon with lime-accented vegetables, and 69 cents buys coffee and a Swedish coffee roll.

You're expected to clear your own table, but the dining room is a pleasant space, flooded with natural light from a 15-foot-high glass wall.

The IKEA in Elizabeth has an outdoor dining space opposite the runaways of Newark Liberty International Airport.

On Aug. 19, I won't miss the all-you-can-eat Crayfish Party at the Paramus store, starting at 6 p.m.

Crayfish, cheese, shrimp, boiled potatoes and other items will be $9.99 a person, $2.49 for kids. Advance tickets are recommended.

An employee on the breakfast line this morning said the free breakfast is designed to lure customers into the store on the slowest day of the week.

But you can also see it as IKEA trying to make amends for driving customers crazy with all the furniture that requires assembly.

IKEA Food, 100 IKEA Drive, Paramus; 201-843-1881.

Restaurant-cafe hours: 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Mondays-Thursdays; 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. Closed Sundays.


  1. Nice blog entry, but I hope that wasn't you wearing a baby bonnet with your wife pushing you in a stroller. I think the 5 o'clock shadow and the phrase "ga ga goo goo hold the meat" kind of gave you away.

  2. The breakfast is free to people of all ages, so you don't have to disguise yourself as a toddler.

  3. Honey put the baby bonnet away, we're going to IKEA.

  4. This is what Victor would say if this piece appeared in the Record: "As usual, the Record shills for big business today by promoting the cheap food at Ikea. Why can't the idiot editors see that the whole point is to trick people into buying furniture that they don't need? And after generous helpings of meatballs and hot dogs made from the offal of abused, antibiotic-laden animals, the customers will need new furniture all right - hospital gurneys."

  5. Seriously, you have a couple of screws loose.

  6. IKEA is a great company, and I have no problem spreading the word.

    Unlike many companies, it tries to balance quality and low prices, including in the food it sells.

    It provides alternatives such as smoked salmon to people who don't want to eat meat.

    I'd choose IKEA any day over the trash sold by McDonald's and other fast-food giants.

  7. In the early 1970s, I worked as a reporter at the Hartford Courant in Connecticut, my first newspaper job.

    Another reporter, Larry, said he spoke to someone in the position to know that McDonald's and the dog food companies bid on the same meat.

    I guess that's why I've never eaten a McDonald's hamburger and never will.

    To fans of McDonald's: Hope you enjoy your next meal under the golden arches.

  8. Larry was the religion reporter, so I'm sure his information came from a higher authority.



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