You have officially entered the belly of the beast: IKEA. It's terrifying, overwhelming, and incredibly efficient all at once. To come out of this battle victorious, you've got to think ahead. Once you actually begin your quest through the serpentine footpath of housewares, there is no turning back; there are no shortcuts. By hour three, the hallucinations begin: you're being chased by colorful futons and unrealistically well-organized work stations. You begin buying everything you see, whether you need it or not. IKEA has beaten you again. But this can all be avoided with a little all-American know-how: Fatten yourself before you start shopping. At the IKEA restaurant you can slurp up a hearty serving of the most comforting food ever created — the Swedish meatball. For $4.99, you get 15 of the little dudes smothered in gravy and served with mashed potatoes and lingonberries. This provides the vital nutrients needed to enter this megastore with confidence and to exit with only the curtains and cheese grater that you were looking for. Food that helps you beat the IKEA system: What could be more comforting than that?