Review: The Cereal Bowl

Needing to eat something other than turkey, a few friends and I
decided to check out a new breakfast place, The Cereal Bowl, in New
Brunswick, right near Rutgers University. One of our friends organized
the trip, since she was going to cover it for The Asbury Park Press.

Upon entering, we were welcomed by two cereal experts behind the
counter clad in pajamas. The decor resembled that of a cereal box, and they had impressive sideways TVs displaying their menus. The menu screens changed every so often, which was a bit annoying when trying to decide what to order. While we were all weighing our options, the friendly cereal master gave us some tips on our different choices, and also let us know that the bowls are all recycled material and made from sugar cane; cool!

We each decided to get something different; I went with the “Ruby Nuts About You,” while others opted for the “Sweetest Thing,” “Haul ‘N Oats,” “Strawberry Cheesecake Oatmeal,” and a create your own. They have variations of hot and cold cereal, as well as “Oaties” which seem to be similar to smoothies with oats, and also parfaits with yogurt and cereal.

After having devoured a lot of food the day before, (it was Thanksgiving), I went with one of the healthier choices on the menu. The “Ruby Nuts About You” included Honey Nut Cheerios, Grape Nuts, chopped pecans, sliced almonds, and cinnamon. You have the option for either whole, 2% or skim milk you get to add yourself, and since I was brought up on skim, that’s my go-to. It definitely tasted like it was only 300 calories, which I was more than okay with considering the day before.

I washed down my bowl of cereal with a “semi-serious coffee” called S’mores Mocha. It was definitely good, and I would have it again, but it wasn’t anything to write home about. It tasted much more like a rich hot chocolate than a coffee. Towards the end, I noticed some mushy pieces, which must have been graham crackers. A neat idea, however finding unidentifiable mush at the bottom of your coffee isn’t always a sweet surprise. My boyfriend got the Eggnog Latte, which I’d have to say was sub-par. I haven’t really had enough eggnog in my life to have an educated opinion on it, but I really didn’t like it; it tasted a bit soapy. My boyfriend said it was okay, not great.

Everyone else seemed pretty pleased with their choices. There were only a few downsides; the “Sweetest Thing” was missing the Fruity Pebbles, but we noted there were so many other things in the bowl (Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, sprinkles and vanilla wafers) that it was barely noticeable. Also, the “Strawberry Cheesecake Oatmeal” was super sugary. I mean, it had cheesecake filling, brown sugar, graham bites and strawberries mixed in with oatmeal. I think my friend reached her sugar quota for the day within the first meal!

After perusing the menu for quite some time during and after my trip, I’ve decided I would in fact like to go back. This time, however, I plan to be a little less health conscious and go with the “Give Me S’more.” This bad boy is packed with Cocoa Puffs, Golden Grahams, marshmallows, chocolate chips, and graham bites. Yum!

They also had some pretty neat gifts; sweatpants that say “Milky” down the side, fair trade coffee, marshmallow puffs, and cereal boxes that you can fill yourself and create your own cereal!

I did have one question though I thought of after leaving; I didn’t see any soy milk or lactose-type milk. I wonder if they have any? What about our Vegan or lactose intolerant friends? I hope they have it at least available, if not out at all times!

So, all in all I’d say check out The Cereal Bowl. Take it from a girl who thinks breakfast is so-so (blasphemy, I know!) and give it a shot. Don’t expect too much though, and I think you’ll be impressed. It’s very similar to a Cold Stone, just for breakfast. However, they keep great hours (about 9a-10p most week days, and 12a on Fridays and Saturdays) so it really can be an anytime meal or snack!

Rating: B

"The Sweetest Thing"
"Ruby Nuts About You"

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