Six years ago this spring, I learned of restaurants serving only cereal.
USAT ran a story about Cereality, and friends Matt, Brett and I nearly fled the office that morning to start our own franchise. Later in ’04, the concept arrived in Philadelphia, and I urged my brother to go. In 2005, the concept hit Chicago, and I urged friends to go. In 2006, Evanston got a cereal restaurant, too late for me, and I urged whoever was left in the NU suburb to go. The world also began hearing of other cereal restaurants that year, including one called The Cereal Bowl. In 2007, Cereality cut back, and I grew disillusioned. Would D.C. ever get one?
But, amid my new skepticism, The Cereal Bowl continued its rise. In 2009, I turned my hopes to custom cereal and custom cereal boxes. Little did I know Cereal Bowl had D.C. squarely in its sights for 2010.
The new franchise opened a week ago in Cleveland Park, and friend Meghan and I went this morning. It was a cereal dream come true.
Beginning our tour and review… The spot is next door to the Uptown.
The Bowl’s other neighbors, not so hot. They don’t even have cereal.
Inside, digital screens tell the menu. And, yes, “Create a Box” is real.
Ordering works in an assembly line fashion, and the staff is friendly.
Hot cereal is up front, then the toppings here and cold cereal behind.
A week in, the process seems to be running smoothly and quickly.
(There are also mini cupcakes.)
Action shot of Meghan’s order in production.
Action shot of mine in production.
At the register, I was intrigued. Life needs more cereal catering.
Especially when the raw materials are just the start of what’s possible.
My finished order: “Morning Glory” — Frosted Shredded Mini-Wheats, bananas, strawberries, almonds, and walnuts. And then there’s…
Meghan’s finished order: “The Sweetest Thing” — Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, ‘nilla wafers, and rainbow sprinkles.
After you get your cereal, you fill up on as much milk as you want.
Then you hit the handle on the best spoon-dispenser ever for a spoon.
Bottom-line, Meghan and I had a great time. Everyone in the place was visibly pleased to be there, and people even smiled when they passed on the avenue. With the food, the cereal concoctions showed thought and creativity. Beyond cereal, I gave the milk top marks and enjoyed a mint hot chocolate. I was bit in shock to be in a cereal restaurant after all this time, but I came away impressed. And maybe a little touched…
(Touched is right, you say… Would’ve worn my Cheerios shirt if it fit.)
Could it be the perfect place to spend my furlough? We’ll see.
Bonus breakfast coverage
Taking advantage of the beautiful, beautiful day and our shared and unhealthy obsession with LivingSocial, Meghan and I headed south on Connecticut and over to 18th and the Cashion-tied A.M. Wine Shoppe. The reported Saturday morning doughnuts were there. Wow. Hard to see in my pic, but the sugar crystals on top were as big as your head.
We sat on the steps outside, talked about Meghan’s Amish tendencies and watched Brian Weaver, running soon against longtime councilman Jim Graham, tape part of a campaign commercial with the doughnuts.
For a good city day, a cereal restaurant starts the morning right.