We haven't seen Joyce in such a long time. It was nice to see her again seeing as how our schedules are so hard to coordinate and we've had to call off some of our previous meetings because of this or that.
We finally met for dinner at Ikea, which is convenient for her as she lives close by, and by unofficial tradition, it's where we usually meet for a Christmas meal, though we haven't done so for the last couple of years. I don't know how the 'tradition' started. Maybe it's because the first time the three of us had a meal together there, it happened to be around Christmas time. It was also the first time June encountered Swedish meatballs and was horrified to see how many of them Joyce and I put away together. Back then, Ikea served plates of 10, 15 and 20 meatballs. I would systematically demolish the 20 while Joyce scarfed down the 15. June played safe and had the salmon instead.
Today, Ikea only serves the 10. No 15, no 20. Wonder why? Anyway, the 3 of us had a plate each and they still are really very good. The dish is simple in presentation: just the meatballs covered in a brown gravy with what tastes like a cranberry sauce dip. We also ordered 8 chicken wings perfectly fried -- juicy inside, crispy skin with some substantial nibbling on the tip as well. June doesn't eat skin and Joyce was aghast at how much skin June was discarding from her wings. She even discarded the tips, disregarding Joyce's cries of "sacrilege."
Beware of Ikea's soft drinks fountain. The drinks are pretty fresh and froth up easily, leaving you with what you think is a full glass but is actually half effervescence. This is especially true of the root beer, the froth of which takes quite some time to dissipate. It's also easy to overflow your glass as you're filling it up and leave an embarrassing mess on the counter, not to mention making your fingers unpleasantly sticky. The drinks come cold enough already so don't bother wasting an already small glass capacity with ice cubes.
Managed to grab a slice of apple pie and the last chocolate truffle cake from the dessert counter. I don't like cooked apples but I downed the apple pie remains after the 2 girls refused to eat another bite due to their being overstuffed. This was after I polished off the chocolate truffle cake which I hadn't realized was meant for sharing. >burp< It was rich, moist and deliciously chocolatey and which, I'm sure, June would have collapsed from if she had even one bite. Too rich, too smooth, too much of a good thing. >contented sigh<
Ikea furniture is nice, but it's the cafe that keeps us coming back.