Today, we had an IKEA date with David. Almost five months ago, David began the long ordeal of purchasing his first home. While most real estate sales are completed within 30-45 days, David’s condo was a short sale and took months longer than a conventional sale would have been. He didn’t know if the sale would actually go through almost right up to the end so prior to his closing, we had made a plan to spend a day wandering through IKEA with him after his condo closed as a celebration. Luckily, the sale did go through and he got his keys in mid December. Once he had purchased some of the large furniture he wanted, he was ready for our IKEA date to find some of the smaller items he needed. To fuel up for the big trip, our day started with breakfast at Brown Bag Cafe in Kirkland.
The parking lot for the Brown Bag was packed. The restaurant shares a lot with a Shari’s Restaurant and a motel, and apparently everyone was hungry at the same time. Once we found a parking spot, we found that the restaurant’s lobby was similarly crowded. Apparently, 10:30 am on a Saturday morning is prime time for the Brown Bag Cafe.
Considering how busy the restaurant was, it didn’t take them more than 15 minutes to seat us and the server came to collect our order within 5 minutes of being seated. David had warned us that the food quantities at the Brown Bag are large, so Boyfriend and I decided to split “The Big Mike” which comes with two eggs, bacon, ham or sausage (we got two strips of bacon and two sausage links), hash browns, and two pancakes. Because I didn’t know how big this breakfast really was, I also ordered a side of a single biscuit with gravy.
When the food came, we were astounded by the portions. The savory plate was loaded with crispy hash browns that were not the shredded, anemic-looking, under cooked potatoes you usually get with a breakfast like this. The bacon was nicely crisp without being scorched, and while the links weren’t anything special, the sausages were cooked through and had a nice flavor.
Even with Boyfriend and I sharing the breakfast, we came home with more than a full pancake for Taro. I can’t image one person being able to finish this breakfast, even without the biscuit side. You certainly get a lot of value for your dollars at the Brown Bag Cafe.
After breakfast, we drove to Renton and entered the land of IKEA. For those of you who have never been, imagine a building full of inexpensive furniture (you have to assemble it all yourself) and household goods in a warehouse literally three times the size of the average Home Depot store. You don’t go to IKEA to shop for a single item in the same way you don’t go to Disney Land to ride a single ride. Entering the premises, you essentially sign on for a half-day of wandering through the many zones of a house (e.g. kitchen, office, bathroom, bedroom, garage, etc.) via guiding arrows painted on the ground. To help sustain your IKEA marathon, they have thoughtfully placed a cafeteria halfway through the building, with a smaller snack shack just beyond the enormous checkout area.
Although I’d been to IKEA 4 or 5 times, I’d never actually stopped for a snack, and hadn’t been introduced to IKEA’s Swedish Meatball. For $3.99, you get a plate with 15 meatballs, mashed potatoes, a cream sauce/gravy, and lingonberry sauce. The sauce is sweet and tangy, a lot like the cranberry sauce people eat at Thanksgiving. While eating, we Googled what made a meatball “Swedish”, and the best we came up with was that a Swedish meatball is made of a mixture of pork and beef. In any case, the meatballs were delicious.
Once we finally got out of IKEA land, we drove back up to David’s where Boyfriend proceeded to help him hang his flat screen TV, and build the three bookcases that David had purchased at IKEA. My contribution to their industry was simply the pleasure of my company. *smile*