Friday, July 16, 2010

Oatmeal #11: Freshii

Welcome to this edition of Oat and About, or, as frequent blogstar AL calls it, "How to Visit 30 Websites in 5 Minutes."

Here we have the first oatmeal that apparently has been entered into the Witness Protection Program. (There should be a special type of Witness Protection Program for anyone who makes movies like that, in order to protect them from anyone who is forced to watch. And Sarah Jessica Parker* already should be removed from society, anyway. Hmmm, that antecedent is ambiguous. Well done, writer.) For whatever reason, they don't want anyone in the world to know that you are eating their oatmeal and drinking their coffee, so they are completely logo-free. Maybe they just wanted to avoid any possibility of having a terrible logo. Maybe it is some sort of political statement**. (Except my bag had a logo, so, you know...posers!) Or maybe the restaurant's founder has a fear of anthropomorphized creatures telling you to eat something (understandable). Hard to know. Regardless, if I wanted, I could cruelly keep the restaurant a secret from you. This is the kind of POWER I WIELD. But, luckily for you, my post-naming conventions don't allow it.

*OK, I admit that one is rather mean.


Therefore, it's time for me to studiously ( make sure to scroll down) and thoroughly pass along the important information*. This post's oatmeal is from Freshii, which is another one of those super-healthy, organic, wheat-germ-selling, 10k-run-peddling places that are becoming very popular these days. It's a lot like Protein Bar (see the previous post) in the types of food that it offers and the kind of atmosphere it has. It's also a lot UNlike Protein Bar in that it doesn't suck. One opened about a year ago a block or so from my office, and I tend to patronize it frequently, mostly because it is the only place open when I'm working late. But I only recently realized it had oatmeal, because their breakfast menu is bizarrely located on a totally different wall from the rest of their menu and is about the size of a postcard. It's almost like they are trying to hide the fact that they have oatmeal from someone. I think they're onto me...

*Please note that I am writing this 24 hours after oral surgery to get one of these Awesome Things That Don't Hurt At All, so I am going to strive for just below mediocrity, and you are going to accept it. (A tooth was getting fresh with me by fusing to the bone incorrectly and had to be shown who's boss by being extracted by something that seemed similar to a car jack. That sentence had may clauses.) However, allow me to point out Reason Number 382 Why Oatmeal Is Awesome: it is one of the very few things you can eat after oral surgery. BAM. Take that, lame other breakfast foods that require teeth!

  • Price: $3.95, and then you got a medium coffee for 80 freakin' cents with a breakfast item (Awesome), so my total was $5.30. $3.95 is pretty expensive for a fast-casual restaurant, but the portion was MASSIVE and the grand total was still pretty reasonable, since the coffee was so cheap. (6)
  • Size: Ginormititious. This picture doesn't do it justice. It seriously took an hour to eat it. It was like an excavation to get to the bottom of the container, except in the cruel world of oatmeal consumption, you don't get to take home a random hunk of lead and a miscellaneous bone when you're done. All you get is a crumpled biodegradable (hopefully) container and a new countdown to when it is socially acceptable to eat breakfast again. (9)
  • Toppings: I apologize for (and am ecstatic about) the extensive list: bananas, strawberries, blueberries, mangoes (What is this, LOST?), apples, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, coconut, almonds, walnuts, granola (What is this, a commune?), sunflower seeds (What is this, A BASEBALL GAME?), cinnamon, brown sugar, maple syrup (What is this, VERM-- ...oh, that got old quickly, didn't it.), and honey. Some of that stuff I would never consider putting on oatmeal, but they also serve frozen yogurt, so it seems they just thought, "Why not?"* I like that attitude. (Oh, Pearl Harbor is on television. So you can be assured that I am giving 100% of my attention to this post right now. This is not a joke.) You got to pick two (50 cents extra for each one after that), so I got almonds and dried cranberries, because I am not a risk-taker. The cranberries were exceptionally good, because they weren't completely dried, and the almonds were, I suppose, quite almond-y. And they were pretty generous with them. All in all, top notch! Really, quite lovely. Though I wish they had a chocolate option, as always. (9)
  • Texture/Appearance: Think we're in for smooth sailing, eh? Well, the wheels just came off the bus. Let's use every trite idiom in the books, because I've got an ax to grind! You'd better cross your fingers and hope for the best! (Yup, done with that.) Basically, this was the worst slop ever. It was like lentil soup (Yeah, I totally hunted around for the grossest-looking picture. I can do that.), which, unfortunately for Freshii, I can no longer eat after a The Vicious Food Poisoning Episode of 2009**. I am not sure that the picture accurately portrays this, but I think I could have drunk it with a straw. And I would have, except I was at work, and that would be unprofessional. And I am ALWAYS a professional. Not only was the texture terrible, but it really doesn't look that appetizing either. You can't even really identify it as oatmeal. I'd say that's a critical error. (1)
  • Temperature: It was sooooo freakin' hot.*** (9)
  • Taste: Actually, given the above, it wasn't so bad. Rather good, actually. It was pre-sweetened, but not too sweet. Basically, I have concluded that if you eat it with your eyes closed and have a tongue that only tastes but doesn't feel texture, this oatmeal would be the one for you. But I guess if your eyes are closed, your other senses will be heightened, so it would seem that we are all doomed. (7)
  • Calories: The oatmeal alone has 215, probably due to the gigantic serving size, plus the toppings probably add another 150 or so. Rather a lot. How rude of you, supposedly healthy place.
  • Intangibles: The kid working called it "oat-MEAL", with heavy emphasis on the second syllable. It was disarming. And unprofessional. But, actually, I really like this place, and I go here for a lot more than snotty oatmeal (They have delicious fro yo, for example.), but the coffee was only so-so. Also, their elitist attitude bothers me, so I always feel slightly trashy when I go here because I don't generally eat things like Szechuan soy nuts and $4 bags of hemp chips (or whatever). Plus, they are just expensive in general, which annoys me. And their lines are always really long at lunch, so I will unreasonably dock them points for being a popular place to eat. And, they don't have this guy. (Definitely one of my all-time favorite commercials. I have been looking for that video for years. I spent probably half of my junior year of high school saying "OK, bring the kids!" Sorry about that, BT.) (3)
*Miss Indiana, anyone? Exclusive reference Number 1.
**You don't say...
***That is Knut Hamsun, Nobel Prize winner, awesome name owner (if he were alive today, gossip tabloids would have a heyday reporting on the social finanglings of "Handsome Hamsun"), jerky Nazi, and the subject of what I will declare to be the first documented case of a picture being photoshopped. Look at that monocle/pair of glasses!! you think those were originally there? Heck no! And that string attached to them? NO. Knut would never have worn that. It kind of looks like (for whatever reason) he was wearing half a pair of glasses on the left side of his face when the picture was taken (for comedic effect, I'm sure), and someone didn't like it and tried to photoshop in another half, to great success.

TOTAL: 6+9+9+1+9+7+3=44

Another safe, middle-of-the-pack result. Definitely not going to garner any ecstatic expostulations that morph into sobbing fits. (Yeah, you've probably seen it, but it's always worth another watch.), and I probably won't get it again, but no one came out of this encounter worse for wear. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for these people. Watching something like that makes you wonder how creatures as apparently stupid as humans have managed to survive for more than a day or two. (Quite sadly, it doesn't include my favorite such video of all time, which showed an old woman trying to lift her enormous sewing machine over her head to hem her curtains while they were still hanging over her windows. I'm not sure how she had managed to escape the vicious claws of Survival of the Fittest and live a day past age 2. 7 trillion Schrute bucks to the person who finds that video for me.)

1 comment:

  1. Freshii/Sucks!

    All the locations in Chicago Downtown really suck, because they don't worry about the excellent customer service anymore (Monroe), which by the way is very poor and stupid in the present, starting with the management(changing constantly) on every store location, they're only focus on their sales regardless of the nice customer service they used to provide. All the time charging me a lot of money when I buy my burrito with Salmon (but they still prefer do not add the salmon in my burrito), I used to complain with the managers even in their website for feedback, and they don't really care about it, because this issue still happening. Tired of it!!!! I rather to go to Protein Bar, because at this point it worth the money, food and the excellent customer service that I'm looking for all the time.