Greenwich Village is my favorite neighborhood in Manhattan. I love walking along Bleecker and Sullivan and MacDougal and fawning over the rows upon rows of sidewalk cafes, jazz clubs, coffee shops, and artisan food shops. It’s everything I adore about New York, squeezed into one beautiful neighborhood underneath Washington Square Park. Le sigh.
One day (on one of my many walks to Peanut Butter and Co. on Sullivan Street), I passed by a tiny eatery called “OatMeals.” Honestly, I did not get nearly as excited as you might expect. It sounded too good to be true, you know? How could they have an entire restaurant dedicated to oatmeal? Clearly, it was all a trick.
is indeed a restaurant dedicated entirely to the humble and beloved oat; it calls itself “the world’s first oatmeal bar.” When I walked in one Sunday morning (around 10 a.m.), the most warm and wonderful scent of cinnamon and sugar enchanted me. I was smitten.
The restaurant is teensy tiny, with about half a dozen seats. I saw many customers (often NYU students) taking their oatmeal to go.
As the Oatmeal Artist, trust me when I say that the menu here is delightful. The average customer visiting frequently expressed how creative it was (although not quite as creative as yours truly, if I do say so myself). One customer asked the server, “Wait, peanut butter and banana oatmeal? Is that good?” I was like, “n00b, please.”
The menu was split into three sections: sweet, savory, and dessert. The sweet menu contained classic ideas like peanut butter and banana, Indian-spiced, and apple; the savory section featured cool combos like fig and gorgonzola or pumpkin and bacon; the dessert section had rockstar selections like Banana Cream Pie and S’mores Oatmeal.
I selected the Indian-spiced oatmeal because it was the most unique compared to any of my own recipes. I got to choose from oats cooked in water or milk (both steel-cut). I selected the water-based ones, but it did not disappoint me. It was still flavorful. They added some dried fruits, almonds, cardamom, ginger, brown sugar, and coconut milk.
Because this place is an “oatmeal bar,” it functions quite like a FroYo bar. In other words, the fruits and nuts and other goodies are all added as toppings. There were several signs up apologizing that they could/would not mix in ingredients, but if you wanted to be able to mix them in yourself, you could get a special bowl that makes it easier to stir the toppings in. Personally, I wasn’t bothered by the concept.
I really loved this oatmeal, and I love the idea of introducing creative oatmeal ideas to the general public, but I must admit that I probably would not come here again for breakfast. I love my own recipes and can definitely rival their creations. However, I’m eager to return here again to try their savory and dessert recipes. How fun would it be to stop here for dessert after a light meal elsewhere?
(Know any other eateries in the NYC area with slammin’ oatmeal? Let me know!)
**You can also find hundreds of other oatmeal recipes (as well as tons of other meatless recipes) on my Pinterest account! You can also like The Oatmeal Artist on Facebook. Thanks!