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A near constant throng of dietary experts is recommending that we eat more oatmeal.

Two questions: (1) which restaurant has the best oatmeal in town?

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  1. The other question was if I want to make some good oatmeal at home-any recommendations for the tastiest and most healthy brand you can find at your local whole foods or dominicks?

    6 Replies
    1. re: pouletbuffet

      Not sure about question 1 - but for question 2 go with steel cut oatmeal - provides IMO a better taste - I have had a few brands and are were good -

      1. re: pouletbuffet

        McCann's Steel Cut oats are sold in a tin are stocked at a lot of places and take some time to prepare, but they have the best texture and a rich flavor. Avoid instant or quick cook oats at all costs - they're par cooked so they have less nutrition and it tastes like paper.

        1. re: Bunson

          If you soak them overnight they cook up quickly in the AM

        2. re: pouletbuffet

          Just to chime in - I'm always a fan of oatmeal cookies to get in my oats (honestly). Instead of butter I use olive oil, instead of eggs I use egg substitute, and I throw in an extra cup of oat bran for the benefit. Granted there's still sugar (but that doesn't effect the choles. or fat) but they're actually really good.

          1. re: pouletbuffet

            I cook steel cut oats in a slow cooker. You have the option of adding dried fruit, but I usually wait until it's almost done to maintain its integrity. You can always cook a lot and freeze them in portion sized containers for an easy breakfast anytime you want.

            1. re: pouletbuffet

              Although you can't find it at whole foods or dominicks the oatmeal I love is Flavahans Progress Oats. you can find them at most Irish stores or you can order it online.

            2. I don't know of any restaurants that make their oatmeal -- steel-cut, Irish or Scottish cut -- with milk instead of water. I think that makes a huge difference in the quality of both taste and texture so i almost never order it when I am out.

              1 Reply
              1. re: chicgail

                I originally had steel cut oatmeal at Ina''s in Lincoln Park - I have not been to here new place on Randolph but would assume it is served there as well - http://www.breakfastqueen.com/index.html

                1235 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607

              2. Some of the Latin American places in town have oatmeal shakes. Try Irazu.

                1865 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

                1. Lucky platter in Evanston has excellent oatmeal.

                  Lucky Platter
                  514 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202

                  1. The small chain of Egg Harbors do a pretty nice baked oatmeal - locations thru out the suburbs.

                    Also, we were at Meli Cafe over the weekend and while I didn't have it, their baked oatmeal also looked quite tasty.

                    1. Milk and Honey has excellent oatmeal. Taste like steel cut and they also give you walnuts and raisins. It is delicious. Surprisingly, I've actually enjoyed the oatmeal at Corner Bakery as well.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: NDJ

                        I agree...Corner Bakery really does have great oatmeal that you can top with almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries, raisins, or brown sugar..

                      2. You can buy steel-cut oatmeal loose at the Hyde Park Co-op. Many health food stores also offer steel-cut oatmeal loose.

                        1. Definitely try McCann's Irish Oatmeal (steel cut). If you're making it for 4 people, you can even use the slow cooker...there are some good recipes in "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook" using dried apples, raisins, etc. It is wonderful to wake up to the smell of warm oatmeal, and all you have to do is go dish it up!

                          1. in terms of restaurant oatmeal, i was pretty happy with Bin 36's oatmeal (http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/aq...).

                            Restaurant oatmeal can be really strange - I agree with chicgail, it's gross if it's made with water - but I don't like milk, so I hate a strong milk taste and smell. Bin 36 had neither. Maybe they used a white wine or something.

                            1. You can definitely get the LONG cook, steel cut oats at Whole Foods, etc. in bulk. That might end up being cheaper than McCann's. But be sure to get the steel cut ones.

                              To cook - toast 1 cup of oats in a pan with a little butter. Just until they become fragrant and a bit darker in color. Do not overcook. At the same time, have warming up in a pot 1 cup milk and 3 cups water. Do not boil! Bring just to a simmer. Add toasted oats to hot liquid, lower temp. and simmer for 20 mins, stir and add 1/4 tsp. salt.. Simmer for another 7-10 mins, then turn off heat and let rest for 5 mins. Add sweetening, fruit, etc. This makes 4 very generous servings. You can eat one and save the rest for later in the week.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: leek

                                My favorite oatmeal is "Country Choice Organic Oats, Old Fashioned" which are already oven toasted which add flavor to the dull oatmeal. They sell this brand at Trader Joes and Whole Foods,

                                This is a picture of the Country Choice Organic Oats canister:

                                1. re: polster

                                  Thanks for all the suggestion! So far the best restaurant oatmeal has been the peach oatmeal at Yolk and the reliable and easy to get corner bakery oatmeal.

                              2. orange has really good pan-seared oatmeal. they use steel cut oats.

                                1. My fave is Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats. It comes in a celophane package. The oats take 10-20 minutes to slow-cook but I make a batch and get 3-4 servings out of it. (I'm the only one in my family who will touch the stuff.) What I don't eat the first day I refrigerate. The next morning I nuke it with a little milk to soften and moisten it. Tastes just as good with raisins, walnuts and bananas....which is how I always top my oatmeal.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: HungryLetsEat

                                    Try the oatmeal at Milk and Honey on Division. They serve it with dried cherries, which is fantastic. There's another place in Chicago, and I can't quite think of which one--I think either Orange or Bongo Room--that has pan seared oatmeal with a sort of syrup reduction, which I will concede sounds absurd, but which actually tasted great!

                                  2. I can't say its the best oatmeal in the city, but it certainly wins when it comes to convenience. Jamba Juice is now serving steel cut oatmeal for breakfast every morning.
                                    If you want to try, you can download a coupon here:

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: LaurenEI

                                      LaurenEl, it appears from your profile that you chose to join CH so you could dig out every old thread on oatmeal in Chicago to post your promotion. What is particularly odd that your profile says you are in LA, but talking about eating oatmeal in Chicago. That's a heckofa long way to go for breakfast!

                                      Personally, I don't care for steel cut oatmeal (vastly prefer thick cut -- Scottish-style -- rolled oats), and only when made with milk, never water. That's why I only eat it at home -- never at restaurants and wouldn't bother with the chain's version. Sorry.

                                    2. Check out this other thread on Oatmeal in Chicago - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/111746