A Smoked Salmon Sandwich is served on a wild-garlic sourdough bun with salad greens, pickled red cabbage, spicy barbecue glaze, and sweet and sour pickles for only $4.99 in the stylish restaurant at IKEA in Paramus, below.
By VICTOR E. SASSON
When you're hungry in Paramus -- the shopping center capital of New Jersey -- you can't beat the bargain meals in the restaurant at IKEA, a maze-like home furnishings store.
Swedish Meatballs aren't the only draw.
Breakfast -- eggs, turkey sausage, potatoes, pancakes and strawberry jam -- is served until 11 a.m. for only $2.
Starting at 5 p.m., you can enjoy a dinner entree of antibiotic-free chicken with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables for only $4.
Baked salmon with a side dish is $6.99.
I met a friend for lunch there on Thursday, when an adult purchasing an entree for $3.99 or more could get two kids' meals for free (regularly $2.49 each).
Predictably, the place was packed with happy families noisily bonding over food.
IKEA calls the enormous dining room a restaurant, but you'll have to grab a tray and wait on a cafeteria line, walking past displays of prepared food in cold cases or wait to be served from a steam table.
Salmon two ways
So, you can look at the inexpensive restaurant fare as necessary to fortify you for the upcoming shopping ordeal.
I went for IKEA's delicious farmed salmon two ways:
A shredded Smoked Salmon Sandwich that combines sweet, sour and savory flavors, and a platter of tasty Marinated Salmon with spring mix and a dill dressing, which was too sweet for me ($4.99 each).
My friend enjoyed the classic Swedish Meatballs swimming in gravy with mashed potatoes and lingonberries, also $4.99. He also had one garlic toast (69 cents).
We washed down our lunches with big cans of carbonated Pear Cider and Apple Cider ($1.99 each.)
About 1:15 on Thursday afternoon, a serpentine cafeteria line at IKEA took about 15 minutes to get through and to pay at a register. There are two separate lines, and tray holders on wheels are available.
An appetizer of Marinated Salmon with fresh dill, spring mix, a lemon wedge and mustard sauce was $4.99, above and below.
A 16.9-ounce can of carbonated Pear Cider was $1.99. Apple Cider also was available.
|IKEA pledges that all food waste is used for composting or biogas.|
At the height of the lunch hour on Thursday, a homeless man made himself at home in the IKEA dining room.
IKEA, 100 IKEA Drive, Paramus; 1-201-843-1881. Free garage parking. Closed Sundays.
In addition to the restaurant, the store has a Bistro serving hot dogs and similar items, and a Swedish Food Market, both on the lower level.
IKEA is an acronym made up of the founder's name, and the farm and village where he grew up in Sweden.