AYCE Swedish Midsommar Buffet @ Ikea - June 17
In case anyone is interested. Looks like tickets need to be purchased in advance. Also, check to make sure your local store is going to have it.
"Join us for Midsummer on June 17!
Enjoy the Swedish tradition of welcoming the summer season with an all-you-can-eat buffet at your local IKEA store on Friday, June 17th, 2011.
Kids under 12 yrs $2.49
Seating is limited so hurry into your local store to get your tickets today.
Assorted varieties Herring
Hard boiled Eggs with Shrimp
Gravad Lax with Mustard Sauce
Smoked Salmon w/Horseradish Sauce
Whole Poached Salmon
Tossed Green Salad
Rhode Island Salad
Midsummer Fruit Salad
Assorted Swedish Cheeses
Boiled Dill New Potatoes
Meatballs with Lingonberries
Swedish Ham (served cold) w/Mustard
Prinskorv Sausage (sautéed)
Crispbread, Thin bread, Dinner rolls
Strawberries and Whipped Crème
Coffee, Tea, Fountain Beverage"
ARGH! I'm so irritated!! (Sorry, long narrative interspersed with actual facts.)
I was REALLY excited at the prospect of attending not only the rare Swedish-style buffet but a totally affordable one at $9.99, and told my parents about it (since they're always looking for different places to dine out on the weekends). Since I live in the South Bay, the Carson IKEA is close to me, and this would've been a perfect little weekend meal!
So the first thing I do is go to IKEA's website to find the phone number for the Carson store. I call the local number, but it's quickly obvious I'd gotten rerouted to a main, national hotline, because after wading through a bunch of automated "press 2 for whatever" requests, they ask me to enter my zip code. Then after a few more button-pressings I finally reach a human, to whom I say, "Hi, I'd like to know if the Carson store is hosting the summer buffet." The customer service woman didn't seem to know what I was talking about. Then I went into more detail, parroting some of the description from their own website. She puts me on hold and says she has to call the store to ask.
She gets back and says yes, they are, and tells me this is in fact happening on Saturday, June 25, not June 17. Confused, I point out the website says June 17, and she reaffirms it's on June 25. Then I ask if there are any tickets left and is this an all-day event or is it only being offered during specific hours, and she says she has to put me on hold while she calls the store back again.
She returns and says yes, there are tickets left, and there are two "feedings" (as if we were farm animals) -- one from 4 to 6 pm and the other from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. I ask if I have to buy the tickets in person and she says yes.
Okay, then I email my parents to tell them the date has been changed to June 25, it's dinner-only, and ask if they're still available. They say yes, then in my haste to "beat" the crowds (I always seem to have horrible luck getting tickets for limited-seats-only-type events, so maybe I was being paranoid, but I wanted to GET those precious tickets before they sold out!), I rush over to the Carson IKEA right before closing, run up to the nearest employee in an IKEA outfit, and ask where to go to buy the tickets for the summer buffet.
He looks at me in confusion. I ask if he even knows what I'm talking about, and he says no, but calls up somebody on the phone, and asks that person, then hangs up saying his manager has no idea what this is all about. I'm getting flummoxed. I say this is not only on their website, but I talked to someone on the phone today who said the Carson store is indeed doing it. I ask if there's anybody else he could call about this, and he graciously called someone else, who then referred him to another number... and after listening silently to whomever was talking to him, the guy hung up and told me that only the Burbank and West Covina stores are offering the buffet. I ask what about Costa Mesa, and he says it's only the stores that have full kitchens.
Well, that answers that. So I thanked him a lot for his helpfulness and went home completely disappointed and having to contact my parents a third time about this, to let them know it ain't happening at all.
So, to summarize:
the buffet is apparently on JUNE 25, *not* June 17
there are two "feedings" -- 4-6 pm and 6:30-8:30 pm
in the general LA/OC region, only Burbank and West Covina IKEAs are offering this, and neither Carson nor Costa Mesa
Can I say again just how disappointed I am? I was already salivating over the gravlax...sigh.
re: reality check
I went to the Burbank early seating. I thoroughly enjoyed the cold items enough to make three visits. I liked both herrings and all three of the salmon choices. The ham was lean, but the flavor was mild, not intense. I guess it was "water added."
I did not eat the beef, shrimp or egg offerings. I liked both cucumber salads.
I had four small Prinskorv sausages with onions. I did not hate them, but I'd have to place them in the lower ranks of sausages. They were quite mild and had the soft consistency of hot dogs, not dense, meaty premium sausages. The meatballs tasted like they always do. I wish the "dill" potatoes had more dill.
I know my comments sound fairly negative, but it was a positive experience. The Swedish music added to the delightful ambiance, the long initial lines moved quickly and there was little wait for seconds and thirds, and the food was well worth $9.99.
I hope they have the winter buffet available in Burbank and not just Covina. I'm already hungry.
re: Dogbite Williams
Hi Dogbite. I am glad that you went - I was unable to. A note on the Prinskorv. Direct translation is Prins = prince; korv = hot dog. Seriously. These are the types of hot dogs that you find in stands all over Sweden (but bun length where these are shorter). I was wondering why they called them "sausages" in the menu listing since they are only natural casing hot dogs!! You can get them in the food market. It is too bad you did not have the shrimp since they are the best - called Greenland shrimp. These are the delicious shrimp that you eat straight from the fishing boats in both Norway and Sweden on the marina, throwing the shells into the water. You can get these in the market as well. These are the shrimp that have pretty much ruined the shrimp we get here for me! When eating at Ikea, I always get the open faced shrimp and egg sandwich (very traditional).
I went too. It was quite fun. Room decorated with flowers and balloons. SWEA (Swedish Women's Education Assn.) was there to offer up FREE a "design your own flower headdress" table. Also took pics but, can't figure out how to transfer onto this email. My hubby enjoyed the sausages as well as the meatballs. I LOVED the shrimp and smoked salmon. For 9.99$ we both walked away full and happy. I thought it was quite adequate. Where else can one go for 10 bux and have AYCE shrimp, smoked & poached salmon.. and all the accrutrements? Also had some yummy fluffy marshmallowy thing covered in chocolate and coconut. Usually don't like anything w/marshmallow but, this was nifty.
Staff member told me that IKEA WILL HAVE a CRAWFISH FEST FRI AUG 19TH. Tx will go on sale in a couple of weeks. Same price 9.99$ They will also have this same type (summer) of AYCE for Xmas time.
Participants for the crawfish fest will be all xcept Carson. So, Covina, Costa Mesa and Burbank.
Keep a look out! It's worth it. DO NOTE: come at scheduled time. If the 4p esp. 'cuz the staff took the food away by 5:45P!
re: Kitchen Queen
Thanks for reporting, Dogbite and Kitchen Queen. And thank you, KQ, for mentioning the future IKEA food events as well as where they *won't* be held (i.e., Carson, the one that's close to me). I am both envious of your experiences this weekend and sad that the crawfish fest will not happen at my local IKEA. Sigh.
re: Kitchen Queen