As Waffles Café (3611 N. Broadway, Lake View, 773-281-8440) proved last week, the pastry mash-up frenzy instigated by the Cronut still has plenty of ground to cover. The new-ish spot is the home of the wonut, a waffle-doughnut hybrid that’s the darling of Instagram-happy trendstalkers. What was once a toss-off menu item has blown up over the past week thanks to a flurry of local and national blog posts. Demand has now so outpaced supply that the pastries are rationed, six to a person.
The technique is simple. You take a slightly denser waffle batter, cook it in a waffle iron, then deep-fry and glaze it and wait for the crowds to come to you.
But we wanted to know: How do these things taste? We picked up one of each of the flavors available this morning and put them to our Chicago staffer tasting panel. The verdict? Maybe just get a waffle instead.
One taster compared this to a “waffle-textured apple pie” thanks to some chunks of the fruit mixed in to the batter, but that couldn’t overcome this doughnut’s texture: “Slimy.” Others called it “sickeningly sweet.”
The tasters’ least favorite, for a plethora of reasons ranging from a “weirdly stale,” “spongy in a bad way” texture to the fact that “it tastes like oil. There’s no flavor or texture. Just oil.” In short? “It’s just….not good.”
Divisive. One taster called this the “least offensive,” comparing its taste to a store-bought Entemann’s doughnut. Others called the chocolate coating “weird.”
Tasters appreciated the denser, “cornbread-y” texture of this doughnut, with a poppyseed-flecked dough. But there wasn’t a strong blueberry flavor.
One of the better-liked offerings of the bunch, with a less oily texture and a “sticky-sweet” vanilla frosting. Tasters “kind of liked it.” Plus, those sprinkles made it look awfully cute.
If you’re going to get one wonut, go for the maple pecan. “It had the most complex flavor, not overly sweet with a little saltiness.” Of all the wonuts we sliced up, this was the first we finished without any prodding.
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