Last night we went to see Chris Tomlin in concert at the Queensway Cathedral.  The show was all right and, while it was neat ot see so many people really getting into a worship time, I don’t think that kind of thing is for me.  Lesson learned!

Sidebar:  The word “cathedral” brings to my mind the idea of a huge, vaulted ceiling, probably made of wood with giant stained glass windows and maybe some intricate carving with gold leaf somewhere about the place.  What we actually got was a large, barn-like building with uncomfortable seating and very, very poor sightlines from the balcony and anywhere that wasn’t the first ten or so rows of pews on the lower level.  There are ten giant columns placed in such a way that no section of seating has unimpeded views.  The ceiling was of mid-grade acoustical ceiling tile and the whole thing looked a bit run down.  Note to self: while glass panels in railings certainly help with sight lines, they get grubby in a big hurry what with small children leaving handprints all over.

The show started at 7.30, doors opened at 6.30 and we got to the area at about 5.45 having picked up someone en route.  The Etobicoke IKEA is directly across the street and has a restaurant so we figured we’d eat there, park in their lot and walk over for the show.  On the surface, this seems like an okay plan as IKEA Burlington has decent enough food and we figured it would be roughly comparable.

The line up was actually relatively short which we took to be a good sign.  The pre-packaged sandwiches and wraps looked much as such items usually do (like they were prepared months ago and are occasionally run through the dishwasher to clean the dust off the cellophane) so we decided to try the roasted chicken.  The portion sizes are actually kind of ridiculous.  I got what appeared to be a quarter-turkey piece while Amy’s was somewhat smaller.  For $6.99 one receives a piece of chicken and choice of side.  I got french fries and Amy had mashed potatoes.

The chicken was dry.  Very dry.  It was a Sahara of flavourless protein in a greasy and shiny skin shell.  I considered going the route of the commercial where the woman pours a jug of water onto her guests’ plates.  This chicken could have been used to sop up major oil spills and had enough left over capacity to bring sea level back down to an acceptable height and save all those people in low-lying areas (New Orleans, Holland, etc.).  The french fries seem to have been made in Sweden at some point in the past year or two and shipped, flat-packed in brown cardboard boxes to minimize waste then put back together with tiny Allen keys and thrown into the chafing dish to warm them.  Amy’s mashed potatoes were the only redeeming foodstuff ordered.  They were a significantly higher percentage of ‘good’ compared to actually good potatoes than the french fries were to good french fries.

One of the people who were with us got some coleslaw which, for some ineffable reason, had a giant piece of broccoli in it.  It was apparently the only piece of broccoli in the entire dish.  I don’t immediately associate broccoli with coleslaw so my theory is that either it fell in from some other bowl or dish or (and I find this more likely) the ‘slaw started out with a significant amount of broccoli and everybody in the line ahead of us looked at it and thought, “Oh my!  I have never tried broccoli in mayonnaise dressing before, I bet it’s wonderful,” and took a heaping helping.

There were no forks to be had when we came through the line.  I ate the first part of my chicken with a soup spoon, carving it much as an 8th century king would have done, except he would have had a knife of some kind (of which there were none, either).  I was tempted to make a sally down to the cutlery section of the IKEA Marketplace and just take some forks from their stock but I was saved from rash action by the arrival of freshly cleaned forks (still no knives, oddly.  Perhaps they’ve had people storm the serving area with cries of YOU CALL THIS CHICKEN? YOU CALL THESE FRIES? HAVE AT YOU *stab* *stab* *stab*).

Amy went to get refills on pop ($1 for a bottomless glass is actually a pretty good deal) and asked me what I wanted.  I said “Surprise me” so she brought me back a combination of lingonberry juice and Sprite or 7up or whatever.  It was remarkably tasty and she thought she was playing a prank so looks like the tables were turned!  On the whole, IKEA food is much like IKEA furniture.  Inexpensive, made of particle board and, while looking very nice, not as good as something you could make for yourself, even if you had no skills whatsoever in cookery/carpentry.

but we’re not the same