For the record, Chicagoland Starbucks do not know how to make oatmeal properly.
Not at all.
The oatmeal at Starbucks has recently replaced my previous breakfast favorites of chocolate croissants and pumpkin loaf. The croissants make my stomach hurt, and the pumpkin loaf, though very tasty, isn't available enough. Few things are worse in the morning than being disappointed at the lack of pumpkin loaf availability.
Okay, that's not true, there are hundreds of thousands of things worse, if not millions of things worse than a pumpkin loaf disappointment, but that's really beside the point of the oatmeal, isn't it?
Every time I'm outside of a Starbucks with a Starbucks oatmeal, I'm asked, "I've always wondered about the Starbucks oatmeal. Is it any good?" EVERY. TIME.
To which I will say this: IF you also receive the brown sugar, the nuts and the dried fruit (which is to say, ALL of the oatmeal add-ons), then the Starbucks oatmeal is FABULOUS. I love it. It's great. I recommend it whole-heartedly with gusto.
Except maybe in Chicago. Then I recommend it, just not whole-heartedly, nor with gusto, as I'm not convinced they understand the concept of oatmeal at these Starsbuck.
Instead of filling the oatmeal with enough hot water to thicken the oatmeal and soften it, they added just barely enough water to cover the oatmeal. Which meant that both the oatmeal cooled very quickly since it didn't have enough thermal mass to battle the cold weather back to the hotel effectively, and that the oatmeal lacked any moisture to soften the dried fruit.
My only consolation was the glass of milk I nearly always get with my oatmeal. Now THAT at least was done right.