Having conquered the unlikely combination of fried chicken, coffee, and donuts, the proprietors of North Park’s Streetcar Merchants could have sat on their hands and waited for chicken to fry. But instead they turned the unused back portion of their shop into something they call Milk Bar.
I’m not a lover of dairy, so the name didn’t seem inviting at first. But when word got around they were making milkshakes flavored with sugary breakfast cereals, all I needed to do was wait for a warm afternoon and a hankering for ice cream.
A few months later, with local flowers in bloom, I finally shook off that winter and made it by to live out would have been a childhood fantasy, if I’d ever had the bright idea to ditch the two-percent and dip into the family’s vanilla ice cream stash to supplement my breakfast.
You can get a basic milkshake at Milk Bar for 7 bucks. For $8 you can mix in candy, cookies, pop tarts — basically a huge list of sweetness that taught me there’s something called a Cinnamon Bun Oreo.
But I was here for a hearty breakfast, so only cereal would do. I knew that much, but deciding which would be nearly impossible. I experienced any number of sugary junk cereals as a kid. Should I go for Lucky Charms? Trix? Cap’n Crunch Berries? Or the all-time number one, Cocoa Puffs?
2940 Lincoln Avenue, North Park
That almost got the call. But then I remembered that I’m not an eight-year-old anymore, oblivious to any concerns of processed sugar intake. I decided to go for the adult version of a sugary cereal, Honey Nut Cheerios. I figured at least I’ll get some oat fiber with my milkshake breakfast. (You don’t have to comment. I know.)
Still, it’s a tasty milkshake that adds an element of nostalgia to your brainfreeze. Drinking the thing reminded me of slurping the leftover milk after the cereal was gone. In some cereals that’s the best part.
To that end, Milk Bar has gotten on the cereal-milk trend kicked off by New York’s Momofuku Milk Bar, where milk is infused with cereal and sold by the bottle. As in Honey Nut Crunch milk. Or Froot Loops milk. I can see the appeal, but I don’t see how it could be better than a milkshake. Unless you decide to pour Cocoa Puffs milk over your morning Kashi.