Published on: October 3, 2008
There was a story in the Miami Herald
this week about three guys down in Florida who have been working for something like three years on a fast food franchise concept called The Cereal Bowl that will serve people, well, bowls of cereal. They’ve got a couple of stores open at this point, with plans to open as many as 25 stores around the country.
Now my first reaction to the story was that I’d read it before … except that it was about a concept called Cereality that had similar plans and pretty much stalled out. But the Herald
notes that the original Cereal Bowl store is in profit after operating for 18 months, which is fueling the expansion plans. So maybe it isn’t the dumbest idea in the world.
Maybe it is just me, but as much as I like cereal I cannot for the life of me imagine going to such a place – especially when a box of cereal purchased at the supermarket remains a pretty good deal. The only exception would be if I were on the road…in which case a simple bowl of cereal or oatmeal might seem like a pretty attractive option. But the kinds of locations mentioned in the story don't seem like they are geared to travelers, so it is hard to say if the concept is going to be a success.
Two points, though.
One is that these guys deserve a lot of credit for being willing to stick with their concept and work it. I admire that. I’m not sure I’d invest money in their operation – at the moment, I’m not sure I’d invest money in anybody’s
operation – but I admire their persistence.
The other point is that this is yet another example of how everybody is looking to eat away at share of stomach, and why supermarkets need to be extremely focused on attracting and maintaining as much of it as possible. Take no prisoners. Play hardball.
BTW…I did try Starbucks’ new oatmeal the other day while on a business trip and it wasn't bad, though I’m not quite sure what exactly has made it the most popular new food introduction in the company’s history.
Think what you want about the bailout/rescue bill still struggling to emerge from the Congress, but Jon Stewart had the funniest take on it in what had to be a 10-minute rant on Tuesday night’s “The Daily Show.” And not only was he extremely funny, but he was angry – and gave voice to the frustrations of million of Americans, for and against the legislation, who are exasperated by the goings on in Washington.
If you want to watch a wonderful television series about food, catch up with “Spain…On The Road Again,” on PBS, featuring Mario Batali and actress Gwyneth Paltrow wandering the backgrounds of Spain eating amazing looking dishes and drinking what appears to be wonderful wine and getting a real sense of the nation’s culture and history. It is beautifully shot, informative on a variety of levels, and the only problem is that I keep wondering how I can get Paltrow to travel with me next time I go on one of my overseas jaunts.
I spoke admiringly early this week about the three-hit complete game shutout that Johann Santana pitched last weekend for the frustrating New York Mets. Well, yesterday brought the news that not only did he pitch an amazing game, but he did it with a previously undisclosed meniscus tear in his left knee. (The only advantage to the Mets not being in the postseason was that he’s already had surgery, and will be ready for spring training.)
I am particularly impressed by this because I, too, have a meniscus tear in my left knee…and I know I couldn’t have thrown a three-hit complete game shutout. (Of course, that has more to do with my arm and my age, but let’s not go there.) But I know how painful such a tear is, so my admiration for Santana is even greater than it was.
(He got his surgery faster than me. My tear was diagnosed about a month ago, and the doctor shut me down from jogging and boxing. But I’m not having surgery until December because of a hectic travel schedule that made an earlier operation almost impossible.)
Saw “Burn After Reading” last week and really liked this offbeat, off-kilter comedy about personal and professional misbehavior in Washington, DC. It is the kind of movie that you forget about an hour after seeing it, but it moves fast, has bright performances, and is light and enjoyable. Which is more than you can say about a lot of other comedies.
I have a couple of nice red wines – one from France, the other from California - to recommend this week, both of which seem appropriate to autumn’s cooling temperatures…
• the Maison Arnoux & Fils Vacqueyras Vieux Clocher Rouge 2004, which is a delicious blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, and went great with spicy pasta.
• the 2006 Francis Coppola Red Label Diamond Collection Zinfandel, which was perfect with steak marinated in olive oil and coated with the excellent Prime Rib Rub sold by Dorothy Lane Markets.
That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.