CRAYFISH PARTY AT IKEA Andrea Rademan What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of IKEA? If it’s affordable DIY modern Scandinavian furniture, that’s so yesterday. The Swedish meatballs and other bargain-priced fare they’ve been serving in the cafe since the first IKEA opened in Sweden back in 1958 have gotten so popular the company is considering opening stand-alone cafés across the globe. On Friday, September 15, IKEA hosts its annual Swedish Crayfish Party at participating stores nationwide, including the location at 600 IKEA Way in Burbank and other California locations in Covina, Costa Mesa, San Diego and Carson. Phone and website: 888 888-4532; ikea-usa.com. For info on other stores, visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_with_IKEA_stores. Tickets for this all-you-can-eat crayfish buffet are $18.99 per person; $4.99 for kids 12 and under; or at a discount for IKEA FAMILY members ($14.99 per person / $2.99 for kids 12 and under). Crayfish parties are a big deal in Sweden, an annual way to celebrate the end of summer and the official beginning of Crayfish fishing season. Says Patricia Meumann, IKEA Food Manager, “We invite everyone to celebrate this tradition and share a piece of our Swedish heritage over a delicious meal.” IKEA Burbank’s version of that meal includes: Crayfish; Chef’s Daily Soup; Deviled Eggs; Swedish Cucumber Salad; Pasta Primavera Salad; Potato Salad; Gravad Lax with Mustard Dill Sauce; Swedish Cheeses; Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Jam; Mashed Potatoes or Boiled Dilled Potatoes; Macaroni and Cheese; Corn Cobbett’s; Assorted Swedish Desserts; Fountain Beverages, Coffee and Tea. Just about anywhere you are in the world there’s an IKEA restaurant serving smoked salmon and Swedish meatballs plus a few local specialties: steak au poivre in France; udon in Japan; spring rolls in Thailand; and barbecue in the U.S. south. In addition to the Crawfish Party, mark your calendar for the Swedish Christmas, Swedish Easter and Midsummer smörgåsbords. Or host your own party with food from the store’s Swedish Food Market, which carries baked and frozen items as well as gravlax salmon, lingonberry jam and those beloved Swedish meatballs. Most of the items are “prepared from frozen” but the experience is rooted in Scandinavia and, for a store with such cutting-edge ideas the low low prices ($1 breakfasts; $2 lunches; and $3 dinners) seem to be rooted in the past. It’s no wonder there’s a llne out the door every morning and for most of those shoppers their first purchase is food.

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