Incredibly Cheap Eats Meets How Do You Spell G-U-T-B-O-M-B: Swedish Meatball Platter at Red Hook IKEA


15 meatballs, a smallish pile of mashed spuds, and a schmear of lingonberry jam = the IKEA Swedish meatball platter. (Click and the meatballs will jump out at you!)

I’ll admit it. I’m addicted to the Swedish meatballs served in the IKEA dining room. At $5.49 per platter, the furniture store’s signature dish is a prodigious tuck-in, and a great bargain. Maybe it’s the rancid onion powder in the meatballs, or the kiss of permafrost as these little round morsels are shipped around the world, or the gravy which easily coats a spoon, or the tart kick of the lingonberries.

The meatballs roll around on the plate, and 15 is probably two more than you really should eat. The store is clearly killing you with kindness. For the gourmet, there’s gravlax draped across some leaf lettuces, and apple cakes. For the McDonald’s enthusiast, there’s also an approximation of McNuggets, with some wan (yawn) fries.

Here’s my advice: Catch the free ferry just south of the South Street Seaport, ride over to Red Hook, eat some meatballs, buy some cheap AA batteries and energy conserving light bulbs, then get back on the ferry. It’s like a cheap short vacation. You could even walk around Red Hook, which looks even better at sunset.

The free ferry ride is like a rollicking party on the water, and scenic as hell.