Ikea, Therefore I Am

There comes a time in every New Yorker’s life when he or she must ride the A train to 42nd street and 8th Avenue, snake their way past the crowds to the Port Authority, climb down the stairs and board the bus at Gate 5 for Ikea. This is a rite of passage for any new New Yorker, and though I’ve been here for a year and a half now it’s better late than never. Lisa joined me for the journey and the free shuttle shuttled us to New Jersey in little more than 30 minutes. My favorite part was going through the New Jersey Turnpike tollbooth: I felt like Tony Soprano, except thinner and less prone to murder. Here’s Lisa outside the bus upon arrival:

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Now you may begin to wonder: why write about Ikea on a food blog? What does Ikea have to do with food? What’s love got to do got to do got to do with it? Click continue to learn the truth, the truth about Ikea.

People say that Ikea has good meatballs. I wasn’t in a hungry enough place to sample the Ikea meatballs at the Ikea Restaurant and Cafe:

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But that white-haired man was in a vain enough place to impose himself in not one but TWO Ikea restaurant photos:

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[His facial expression says: “It makes me sad that you are taking a picture of this sign.”]

But I took a picture of the sign to show you the food options at Ikea. They don’t look too terrible. Again, I just wasn’t hungry.

“So then,” you cry impatiently, “why write about Ikea on a food blog? Where are you going with this? I am growing impatient!”

The answer, my friends, lies beneath the yellow sign:

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Dinnerware!

Ikea has cheap, wonderful dinnerware. I first learned of this on New Year’s Eve when I dined at Kate and Billy’s. Do you remember that meal? Do I really have to link back to it? I’m too lazy. Suffice it to say I loved Kate and Billy’s dinnerware and it all came from Ikea. “And it’s all,” they told me, “CRAZY cheap.”

So as you can see above, all those plates and bowls are $0.50. Isn’t that crazy cheap? Do you see why a food blogger should write about Ikea?

When Lauren visited my apartment a few months ago, she observed in my pantry that I still had her ugly blue hand-me-down plates. “Perhaps it’s time for some new plates now that you’re officially a food writer,” she said.

And so my trip to Ikea had a purpose. That purpose was cheap but nice plates and bowls and new dinnerware. Look at these bowls I purchased:

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I bought six of them. I also bought six large square plates, six small square dessert plates, and two packages of new silverware. When I got home, I emptied my pantry of the ugly blue plates and bowls, put the new stuff in the dishwasher and began a new phase of my life. The phase called: The Nice But Cheap Dishes and Plates from Ikea Phase.

But before we end this Ikea post, I should tell you that Lisa and I shared this cinnamon bun on the way out:

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“I don’t like the icing,” said Lisa. “It tastes bad.”

“I like the icing,” I said. “I don’t like the parts that don’t have icing.”

This expert critical evaluation of the Ikea cinnamon bun should leave you more discerning gourmets satisfied. And for everyone else: if you live in New York and you haven’t been to Ikea yet, you really should go. It’s like going through puberty without growing a mustache. Sure you can survive without doing it, but until you do no one will really respect you. Just ask Tony Orlando.

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