Specializing in a specific, seemingly random food item is a pretty common food truck move: grilled cheese, pierogis, schnitzel, arepas, etc. So if someone told you a food truck specializing in Swedish meatballs was coming to New York or Chicago, you probably wouldn’t bat an eye. Instead, the oddest thing about this forthcoming truck might be that the culinary minds behind it aren’t a husband and wife team that just finished backpacking across Scandinavia. No, this meatball truck is courtesy of IKEA.
Get your Allen wrenches ready: This July, the IKEA Food Truck will be making stops at the Chicago Wicker Park Fest on July 23 and 24 and the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival on July 30. Along the way, it will be handing out free meatballs – their classic Swedish as well as newer chicken and veggie varieties – served with a bit of a foodie twist: either as a Buffalo Chicken Bite, a Veggie California Stack or a Kottbullar with Lingonberry. Each stop will also include “communal pop-up seating areas” allowing you to try out some IKEA furniture – or, just as likely, to enjoy eating your free meatballs while sitting on the exact same chairs you have at home.
Beyond the destinations listed above, IKEA also promises the meatball truck will be making some “surprise” stops in both cities. Though, IKEA itself put the word “surprise” in quotations, leaving me wondering exactly how much of a “surprise” these stops will be. I kinda feel like the truck will probably just be camped outside of IKEA.
Either way, IKEA stresses that the point of the truck isn’t just to shill meatballs, but to encourage people to eat together. “Simply being together to talk, share, discuss and laugh over a delicious meal is just as important as the food itself, which is why this year, we’re celebrating all the ways in which food connects people,” IKEA’s #TogetherWeEat project leader Lisa Hajra said in press release. Yes, you can discuss important questions like “Do people really go to IKEA just to eat? They gotta need some lightbulbs too or something, right?”