Sunday, December 21, 2014

IHOP and Cheerios

1. IHOP. A few months ago, IHOP opened up in the UAE, at Dubai Mall. I know that IHOP is not that special in the US. I mean, it is, because it's a restaurant that serves breakfast all the time, but I realize that you are probably not excited about the IHOP that is nearest to you because it's always there. You know that if you want to go there, you can, anytime. Maybe there are even two IHOPs in your area, or three!

But I was so excited about this first IHOP. There is something about breakfast that is just delicious. There is something about being handed a plate full of pancakes, four different kinds of syrup, and just diving in. There is something about having french toast, (beef) bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, and (veal) sausage on your plate and not only did you not have to cook any of it, it is all hot at the same time.

So we went to IHOP on Thursday. It was the kids' first time. They loved it. And even if you do have two or three IHOPs in your area, do any of them come with a view of the Burj Khalifa?

I thought not.

2. Cheerios. If you are willing to scour enough shelves and pay enough money, you can find almost any ingredient/food in the UAE. (Almost.) But I had never, ever, not in 4.5 years here, seen plain Cheerios. You can sometimes get Fruity Cheerios (US version), and until earlier this year, you could get Egyptian-produced Multigrain Cheerios (tasty enough, but only if you haven't had the real thing in ages). You can almost always get Honey Nut Cheerios, which are also Egyptian-produced but are also not Honey Nut, just Honey Cheerios. (Except for three weeks ago, when our local grocery store randomly brought in a batch of honest-to-goodness US-produced Honey Nut Cheerios. I bought three boxes. Next time I went to the store, it was back to Egyptian Honey Cheerios. Weird.)

Breakfast cereal kind of sucks here anyway, and Jeremy and I have been in a pretty bad breakfast funk recently. So it was with great joy and surprise and amazement and disbelief that when we were in Jumeirah yesterday, we stopped in at Park & Shop and found CHEERIOS. I asked the manager and he said they just got them in last week. It is a Christmas Miracle.

I know I am opening myself up to some ridicule here. In the end it's just pancakes and breakfast cereal, I get it. But you know how I am about food. So I'm not saying I ever thought less of the UAE for not having Cheerios (or IHOP). I don't expect every store to cater to my whims. But wow, breakfast this morning was fantastic.


Sarah Rose Evans said...

We LOVED TGIF's in Korea and going there was a huge treat-- and very expensive compared to regular Korean restaurants-- but it took us several times when we were back in the States to realize that the US locations sucked. I bet the UAE IHOP kicks our Portland IHOP's butt.

Abby said...

Having lived in middle east, I completely and totally understand your breakfast excitement! This brought back so many fond (and not so fond) memories of finding decent breakfast cereals. For me it was the real boxes of Frosted Flakes.

Jen and Joe. said...

I totally get it. (Except remove "Cheerios" and plug in "chocolate-covered cinnamon bears from the BYU Bookstore.") It wasn't until I was 33 years old that I realized they weren't exclusive to the BYU candy counter and I could buy them elsewhere. (I'm not proud of this.)

Crys said...

We love cheerios and IHOP and we have access to them whenever we are not crazy!

Patricia said...

When we lived in Berlin we missed plain Cherrios, too. Funny how you just miss some things.

Jennifer said...

Not silly at all! So happy for you!

Anna said...

Your "I thought not." made me laugh. I am very happy for you and your Cheerios. Merry Christmas, every one.

Liz Johnson said...

This reminds me of that time that Costco in Mexico City started stocking canned SPAM, and my mom was so excited that she bought six packages (of six cans). I'm pretty sure they sat there, unopened, until we moved, but still. It was the fact that you COULD GET IT. Such a big deal.

This also happened with grape jelly, but that was something we were all excited about, so it wasn't as funny as my mom's excitement about the SPAM.

Hooray for Cheerios!


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