Young and Hungry

The Embarrassment of the Cereal Bowl

wegmans 052_opt

When I walked in the door at the Cereal Bowl on Sunday afternoon, there wasn't a soul in sight other than a lone counter employee. I breathed a sigh of relief. I wasn't sure I wanted anyone spotting me in this cartoonish excuse of a Cleveland Park restaurant.

Now, you'd think that after all these years of eating out (and eating alone) in restaurants, I would never feel embarrassed to step foot into an eatery. I mean, I've developed a fairly high tolerance for public humiliation. But then again, I've never "dined" in a place like the Cereal Bowl before. I'm still trying to determine who eats at this place during traditional dinner hours. I suspect there aren't packs of 10-year-olds roaming Connecticut Avenue NW at that time of night.

It makes me think the Cereal Bowl views itself more as a snack and "dessert" outlet than a place for a meal.

There is, without a doubt, a lot of room for free-form self-expression at this place. You can mix and match any number of cereals — Froot Loops, Cap'n Crunch, Lucky Charms, Apple Jacks, Cinnamon Toast Crunch or, if you're feeling rather adult, Grape Nuts — and top your creation with fruits, nuts, granola or "sweets" like (I kid you not) chocolate cookie dough or apple pie filling.

The potential number of combinations must be larger than the 39th Mersenne Prime. The Cereal Bowl laughs in the face of your typical top-your-own fro-yo shop, where the potential options now seem puny.

wegmans 054_optTo be honest, I had no idea what to throw together. I mean, it's not like I could consult Page and Dornenburg's The Flavor Bible to help me figure out whether Froot Loops would pair nicely with Fruity Pebbles or just prove to be one large artificially fruit-flavored sugar bomb. So I surrendered to two of Cereal Bowl's signature combinations: The "Sweetest Thing" and the "Morning Glory." They have trademark symbols (™) next to their names online. Of course.

I ordered the Morning Glory in the name of giving the Cereal Bowl a fair shake. Among the "cold bowl" combinations available, this is one of the healthiest —  or at least unlikely to turn your teeth into potholes right on the spot. My bowl included Frosted Mini-Wheats, sliced strawberries and bananas, and slivered almonds (a combo that differs slightly from the version described on the Cereal Bowl's Web site).

wegmans 055_optThe Sweetest Thing, by contrast, is a dentist's wet dream: a bowl filled with Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruity Pebbles, Nilla Wafers, and for a garnish, rainbow sprinkles. You feel dizzy just looking at it.

I sat at a table, alternating between the bowls that I filled with 2 percent milk. (You can also select whole, skim, or soy.) The Morning Glory ($3.49 for a small serving) was a perfectly acceptable bowl, sweet and fruity and as fresh as you're going to get from a box of breakfast cereal made in one of 18 countries where Kellogg's products are manufactured. On the other hand, the Sweetest Thing ($3.29 for a small) looked like someone had melted down a circus clown and tasted like cinnamon bun soup. I couldn't finish it.

As I was spooning down those bowls, I tried to make myself invisible to the customers coming through the door. I know it's stupid. It's my job. I have a semi-legit reason for being here, but I really didn't want to explain to Dean Gold or Frank Ruta, should they happen to wander by the front windows, why I was wasting a valuable meal on the Cereal Bowl and not their Cleveland Park restaurants.

Of course, now that I've had time to think about it, here's what I would tell them: I'm trying like hell to figure out how a place like the Cereal Bowl can succeed in Cleveland Park. I can understand how it could work near a college campus, maybe even in a post-collegiate bar district like Adams Morgan. But here in Cleveland Park, despite its numerous bars, I don't think there are enough drunks jonsing for a secondary sugar rush to make this place work.

Besides, no one ever seems to hang out at the Cereal Bowl. During my time there on Sunday, I'd guess about 15 people wandered in, all of them choosing to eat their orders elsewhere. It makes me think that others are embarrassed to be seen at the Cereal Bowl, too.

What do you think, Y&H Nation? Give me your opinions on the Cereal Bowl and other potentially embarrassing places to eat. E-mail me with your thoughts, and I'll post the best of them on the Y&H blog.

  • ADDYSON

    This is wonderful site. Thanks for distributing this pleasant article! That is very intriguing Smile I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this essay services. Thanks for updating this site..

  • DAD66

    large ! really affluent content and unbelievably purposeful in a slim part. I got it my comprehending from over here. I exceedingly suggest his/her works with the purposeful enlightening details and numbers. Thanks a allotment…http://www.goproofreading.com/editing_services

  • Danny Murphy

    First of all thanks for the post. In truth it is breathtaking post. I do be fond of your stiff workings and be pleased about your thought. I can pass on you another site where one can find huge assistances regarding schooling. To learn moiré, please click here. Thanks……
    pokies

  • http://thetrending.weebly.com/itunes-gift-card.html Demarcus Springle

    I think this internet site holds some very superb info for everyone :D. "I like work it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours." by Jerome K. Jerome.

  • http://best-vpn-services.com/ vpn software

    This is the prime bit I actually have glimpsed you’re comfy and do favour to announce you – it's actually fastidious to glimpse and that i soak up your mighty paid work. although if you probably did it in a clear-cut manner that may be very pleasant. although over all I unquestionably proposed you and clear in your brain can gaze forward to additional mails like this. Thanks most.

  • sewftge

    When it reaches to the purchase of term papers from purchase period paper services, scholars have some things they should take into anxiety. First and foremost, they should double-check that the customessayforyou.com company they are considering with really a made-to-order service.

  • rozi

    I found so many interesting things in your blog especially the discussion. Tons to comment on your article, I think I'm not the only one to enjoy here, keep the good work. cctv cameras

  • Tom

    However area unit all of constant principle — they check the woman's excrement for human chorionic gonadotrophin. best pregnancy test

  • eavedrop44

    I found some interesting things and I will apply to the development of my blog. Social Media Marketing Manchester

  • John25

    The reishi mushroom is a derivative of the Far East with its usage dating back to ancient China. Royalty would utilize this precious mushroom in the hopes of obtaining immortality reishimushroom.pw

  • eavedrop44

    Hmm… I read blogs on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites and i'll be your constant reader.Accident Claims

  • eavedrop44

    I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. And the concept of Thank You. Accident Claims

  • rozi

    This is quite wonderful post. The article affects a lot of urgent challenges of our society. We can not be indifferent to these challenges.BlogHuts

  • http://ledlighting.bestwhole.com/ led light

    What Does LED Stand For and How Does it Work?

  • http://www.accreditedgeddiploma.com/ Accredited High School Diploma Online

    I got form your site so much attractive stuff. The post is wonderful! Thanks for sharing it!
    Online GED Diploma

...