Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Warning! This post contains adult content!   

Zany and I have turned the page. Her recent office move to the extreme West Side has basically ruled out lunchtime adventures.  Some companies sure know how to deliver a big buzz kill.  We are certain that without our dollars, the midtown food truck economy is going to suffer.  But, we have come to the conclusion that it’s time to up our game, forgo the lunch scene, join the grown-ups and focus on happy hour.

On this particular night, we have convened for Spanish tapas and rioja near Grand Central Station. The cheese platter and ceviche is exquisite.  Just about the time our third round of drinks is served, Zany says, “So have you heard about this cereal café that Kellogg’s has opened in Times Square?”

I glance up from my Manchego cheese, and for a brief second the world stops. I swear I hear the distinct sound of “Snap, Crackle and Pop.”  

“Cereal café?” I stammer.  “As in “Fruit Loops?”

“Yup!  How did you miss this?” she asks, and whips out her phone for a quick Google search. And, there it is on her screen – just blocks away from my office – a haven of confetti-colored breakfast cereals, puffed rice and shredded wheat biscuits, served up with a side of milk and sprinkled with an array of eye-popping toppings.  It’s called Kellogg’s NYC. 

Within minutes we have booked a breakfast cereal date for two days hence.  This is what adult dining is all about – carpe diem. Or carp cereal, if you will.
We rendezvous in Times Square two days later, at 1600 Broadway and 48th Street.  I have hiked across town, and Zany has trekked over from Grand Central.  The Kellogg's NYC store has white brick walls adorned with the Kellogg’s logo and red accents, kind of like a box of Special K.  
Zany’s smart red summer dress is even color coordinated.  There is a variety of memorabilia and perky cartoon images of Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam. What better breakfast companions could one ask for?  

Zany orders a small serving of “Pistachio & Lemon,” a combination of Special K Original, Frosted Flakes, Pistachios, Lemon Zest and Thyme along with skim milk and coffee.  It’s looking a bit on the healthy side to me.  

I step up and order “Life in Color” which is Fruit Loops, Lime Zest, Marshmallows and Passion Fruit Jam.  I request the large bowl. 

“Are you sure?” the young man at the counter asks.  He points to a sturdy paper vessel the size of punch bowl. 

“I just hiked two miles to get here,” I reply.  “I need nourishment!”

“Thank you for making the trip,” his colleague says to me cordially. 

Our breakfast entrees are delivered through the old Automat method.  We are each handed a pager.  When it flashes, the screen displays a number that coordinates with a series of doors against the far wall. Open the door, and you will find that your cereal entrée has magically appeared inside. 

Zany uncovers her cereal bowl, and the aroma of fresh lemon zest wafts across the table.  

"I was kind of a Cap'n Crunch gal growing up," Zany reflects.

"I loved Cocoa Krispies," I reply.  "I was completely captivated by the chocolate milk residue."  
On my end, a tart lime zest mingles with the fruity aroma of my Loops.  The citrus is a nice touch.  It’s an important source of Vitamin C.

The artful arrangement of rainbow-colored cereal rings, bright-white marshmallows and passion fruit jam suggest that Andy Warhol has remade the breakfast meal as a pop art masterpiece. I’m freed from my high fiber rut. It’s like munching on a sugary rainbow.  

I’m in heaven.  Or, at least in Saturday morning cartoon land. There’s nothing wrong with feeling like you are five years old again.  And, I’m confident the high-octane loops will propel me through my day in a big, big way. 

“This is the best meal ever,” I gush.  Zany chuckles. 

“Somehow, given your love of Twinkies, I’m not surprised,” she smiles. “This is delightful, and we’re not even drinking booze.”  

No booze, we've got plenty of milk to go around.
©2016 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved  

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