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Oatmeal, 21 ways at Empress Diner in East Meadow

From the oatmeal menu at Empress Diner in

From the oatmeal menu at Empress Diner in East Meadow comes this version with bananas, strawberries and blueberries in July 2014. (Credit: Newsday / Joan Reminick)

A good bowl of oatmeal can make your morning. And it doesn’t have to be a winter morning, as I found out on a recent visit to the Empress Diner in East Meadow, which now has a roster of 21 oatmeal varieties.

“We’re trying to promote healthy eating,” said co-owner Mike Panagatos, who added that the jumbo bowl of cereal is also available in a smaller size. You just have to know to ask.

I didn’t know, so I ended up with more than I could handle at one sitting. Still, what I had was very good. Despite the long list of options, the same creamy oatmeal (Quaker oats cooked with whole milk) forms the basis of every variation.  I had mine with strawberries, bananas and blueberries ($6.25) and liked the way the fresh fruit played against the creamy, clean-tasting cereal. Two other options: cranberry apple walnut oatmeal ($6.25) and The Elvis, with bananas, peanut butter chips and cinnamon ($5.75). No question, The King could have certainly handled a big bowlful. And, unlike me, he wouldn’t have left with a doggy bag.

Empress Diner is at 2490 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow, 516-796-0858, empressdinerli.com

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