When Ocean Resort Casino opened its doors in June, there was a lot of hype about the various eateries that were set to open with it. Would beloved spots from the former Revel like American Cut and Jose Garces’ Amada return? (They did.) And more importantly, what brand new spots would be rolled out? There were some heavy hitters on the list with Dolce Mare and Wahlburgers getting much attention. But perhaps the most intriguing of all was a spot solely devoted to cereal called (wait for it) Cereal Town!
It took several months after the resort opened for Cereal Town to open its doors, but now that it has, we decided this was one spot we had to try immediately. So we grabbed our spoons and did just that.
Ryan Loughlin, Associate Editor
When I was a kid in the 1980s, my parents refused to allow “sugary cereals” to be present in our home. This was always something of a head-scratcher, as both my mother and father regularly stocked the kitchen with cinderblock-sized crumb cakes, mammoth cream-filled donuts and a myriad of other baked sweets, all of which were deemed utterly appropriate breakfast entrees. Yup, somehow thick squares of French Toast fording through a butter-slicked river of maple syrup was considered the pinnacle of a proper start to the day, yet a simple bowl of Franken Berry was a shocking, diabetic violation of the rules.
Needless to say, “kids’ cereals” were a rare treat for me, often reserved for vacations, birthdays and rewards for scholastic achievements. No doubt this resulted in me being somewhat obsessed with these cereals, and to this day there is always a box or two in the cabinet, perhaps in subtle defiance of “the rules,” but also because I genuinely love these cereals.
So when I walked into Cereal Town I was beaming. A small, yet brightly decorated space, Cereal Town almost makes you feel like you have walked into a Lucky Charms commercial, with its endless rolling hills, bright blue skies and perpetual sunny days. The walls are lined with an army of available cereal options from Froot Loops to Reese’s Puffs and all points in between.
They have a menu here, and the best options on it deviate from the simplicity of a traditional bowl of cereal, incorporating a near endless list of toppings, syrups and milk options. While their premade combos sounded awesome, I opted to branch out on my own to create the peanut butter and chocolate themed bowl of my dreams. I made a beeline for the Reese’s Puffs, but was saddened to find that my beloved Cocoa Pebbles were nowhere to be found. (Note: Neither were any of the monster cereals — Count Chocula, Franken Berry or Boo Berry — but that can be forgiven due to the fact that they are only released in small quantities during Halloween season.)
I settled for Cocoa Puffs and topped the whole thing with Reese’s Pieces candy, a generous dousing of chocolate syrup and a crown of whipped cream. Was it good? Of course, it was. How could it not be? The great thing about Cereal Town is that they are literally using the exact same cereals that you know and love, so you can rest assured a satisfying experience is headed your way. Prices are a little on the steep side, but the bowls are very large and make for a filling treat.
Pamela Dollak, Editor
I love cereal. It’s often my breakfast of choice, as well as a good mid-day or even nighttime snack. I’ve been eating cereal ever since I can remember. And like Ryan, my parents and grandparents didn’t have the sugary types at home. So I would frequently improvise my own version of Frosted Flakes (my longtime favorite) by pouring heaping spoonfuls of sugar on my Wheaties. Talk about breakfast of champions!
Admittedly, I don’t even have a sweet tooth. But there’s something about those sugary sweet breakfast treats of yesteryear that make me feel like a kid again.
Once inside Cereal Town, that feeling comes to the surface. It’s bright and cheery — think “Candy Land” —with whimsical murals painted on the walls, cotton candy-colored booths and rows of a vast array of nearly 40 cereals from the U.S. and even a few from Europe.
I was feeling colorful the day I went, so the bright rainbow hues of Lucky Charms, Trix and Froot Loops were calling my name. I quickly blended the three together, thinking my choices were bold and refreshing. I was told that those were actually the basis of a regular menu item called “Unicorn Trax.” All I had to do was add marshmallows, whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles to complete it. Clearly I have a knack for creating magical cereal blends.
As someone who is lactose intolerant, I was thrilled to know that there are options beyond dairy milk, such as almond and soy milks. Toppings, as if it’s an ice cream sundae, are available, too, like dried pineapple, toasted coconut, chocolate jimmies, caramel drizzle, honey and peanut butter.
Cereal Town is really child’s food fantasy come true. Who am I kidding? Adults will get a kick out of this place, as well.
And if you’re lucky, some of the most beloved characters from your favorite cereals may be there to greet you, enhancing your experience. Snap, Crackle and Pop and the Lucky Charms leprechaun were there the day Ryan and I went. As were Toucan Sam and Tony the Tiger. Just don’t ask them to say their famous catchphrases like “Follow your nose!” or “They’re grrrrreat!” They (shockingly) don’t know them and you wind up just feeling old, which is the exact opposite of what Cereal Town aims to do.
Lady Gaga would fit right in at Cereal Town
Though she was snubbed the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role in “A Star is Born” earlier this week, Lady Gaga did score one for Best Original Song, “Shallow,” which she co-wrote and co-produced for the movie. While most of Hollywood’s winners, as well as a few losers, were celebrating and toasting each other with Moet & Chandon, Gaga went home and poured herself a hefty bowl of Fruity Pebbles.
Her fiancé, talent agent Christian Carino, snapped a photo for Instagram of the megastar after the awards, all snuggled in bed cradling her new trophy while eating a bowl of the sweet and crispy rice cereal.
“What a rager,” Carino said on Instagram.