Ever? Ever!
The Best Oatmeal. Ever.

Happened twice in one week. Having lunch with friends, and during our conversations, an idea or two popped into my head that would make good blog posts. I neglected to stop and make notes of the ideas because I did not want to interrupt the conversations.

I made mental notes instead. After the lunch, I no longer remembered them. Dang!

I’d like to think that I was thinking that the uninterrupted conversations were more important. Well, not exactly the words in the conversations themselves, but the act of conversing with friends.

So the friends may have reaped the benefits of uninterrupted conversations, but you dear gentle reader, have missed out on the potential ideas. And I too at this point have missed out, because I do not recall what the ideas were. The joys of age, I guess. Bah, humbug.

It was however at this second lunch where I had the most unusual oatmeal I have ever had. And it was the most dreamily satisfying.

I don’t know about you, but when I see oatmeal on a menu, albeit if is it named Savory Porridge, I am close to recoiling in horror. And in an expensive brunch joint, I just shake my head in wonder: who in the right mind would want to order oatmeal here?

But then I read the description.

Steel-cut Oatmeal
Shiitake Mushrooms
Savoy Cabbage
1 Poached Egg
House-made #1 Hot Sauce

Admit it!
Now, I must admit, I love oatmeal. I would eat it every day of the year if I could. In fact that is what I cook for myself every day of the year when I am home. We buy it and stock it in the hall pantry. Right now we have twenty-one 42-ounce containers of oatmeal stacked up in there. So I would consider myself someone who knows their oatmeal.

The Contracting Universe
Thus, encountering the list of ingredients of said porridge dish from the menu, I was intrigued, I was fascinated, and bedazzled, I couldn’t tear myself away to really even consider any other choice. How on earth can an oatmeal dish include those components? Not knowing how I would react to it, but by this time, the universe had contracted itself to the width of the menu, and the menu had condensed itself to only one item, and this was it. The cosmos had decided.

I like spicy food, but there is spicy and there is spicy. Which one would it be? Apprehensive of the terrifyingly sounding House-made #1 Hot Sauce, I was assured by the waitress that said sauce is it not really hot.

And so it came to pass, I ordered it. And I must admit, not only was it the best oatmeal I had ever eaten, and better than anything I have ever cooked, it also was so strangely emotionally (and as mentioned, dreamily) satisfying.

And that sauce was not hot, more like what would be used as the oil base of a hot sauce, but without the heat. And to my taste it was not sweet, and as those of us in the oatmeal mafia know, most commercial kitchens make oatmeal with horrifying amounts of sweeteners, causing it to become revolting. No horrid sweeteners here.

Having no association with the venue, I tell this adventure unhindered by any relationship, financial or otherwise. If you enjoy oatmeal, and should you be in Oakland, California, on a brunch outing, find yourself to gravitate to the Grand Lake Kitchen, and order the Savory Porridge. The price is steep, but worth it at least once, if not more often. I suspect you will be as happily satisfied as I was.

I smiled all afternoon following that meal.

Let me know what you think of their Savory Porridge.

And What’s your favorite oatmeal?

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