Veggie Guy: Cereal Bar

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"Little boxes on a hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky, little boxes, little..." Okay, okay--I'll stop. But doesn't The Colony remind you of that town Agrestic from the show Weeds?

Well, maybe not quite as affluent. And there definitely aren't any hills to speak of. But the houses all look the same, and soccer moms rule the roads. You halfway expect the town's "Nancy Botwin" to pull up next to you in a Prius full of MILF weed.

Mmm...MILF weed.

I ventured way outside of the loop last weekend in search of a new breakfast spot. Word about town was that a cool little cereal bar up north was mixing up some of my favorite childhood "grains" that happen to be accidentally-vegan.

After a quick phone call to verify the status of their soymilk (some aren't vegan), I hit the tollway. The Cereal Bar opened its doors a little over a month ago, and is somewhat modeled after the Florida based chain The Cereal Bowl. The bar offers a wide assortment of cereals and toppings, and customers can mix-n-match their faves to build a "suicide" in a bowl. The place is set up with free wi-fi, and a pair of laptops are also available for public use. Market items include an array of accidentally-vegan nut butters, the shop's own brand of all-natural jams, and even some colorful breakfast ware featuring vintage prints of Toucan Sam and friends.

According to PETA's "I Can't Believe It's Vegan!" list, The Cereal Bar carries 13 cereal selections vegans can choose from--pretty cool for a guy like me who occasionally likes to indulge in those tooth-decaying eats from the good ol' days but isn't willing to stock a pantry full of Kellogg's finest. So I rushed to the bar and ordered the "Your Way-All Day" with a side of Silk soymilk.

My breakfast bowl entailed a mish-mash of Apple Jacks, Froot Loops, and Fruity Pebbles. (Yes, Fruity Pebbles. They're fine, so don't give me any crap). And since the menu did encourage me to "have a healthy day," I gave in and topped my bowl with fresh blueberries and raspberries instead of those Sour Patch Kids I was really craving.

Damn Catholic guilt!

As you can imagine, the joint was swarming with loud children and soccer moms. So I scanned the room for a quiet spot in anticipation of further shenanigans caused by the inevitable sugar-high. Each spoonful brought back memories of those days when my brother and I would dig into the bottom of a Fruity Pebbles box for that special prize--see, I had my reasons--and Mom would scold us for destroying the box's original geometric structure. We'd try our best to repair the damage, but would end up eating through half of the cereal in the process.

Man--those were the days!

But as the noise continued to grow, I snapped back into reality, scarfed down the rest of my bowl, and got the hell out.

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