Eat | Drink | Puff

Donut Bar has a grilled cheese doughnut. It tastes better than you might think.

Is it a sandwich or a doughnut? A sandnut? A doughwich?

Donut Bar in downtown San Diego unleashed a gooey surprise on New Year’s Day when it introduced its new grilled cheese doughnut to the masses.

“It’s a doughnut at the core,” Donut Bar founder and chef Santiago Campa told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “The grilled cheese doughnut was introduced on Jan. 1 at Donut Bar because New Year’s resolutions don’t mean a thing at Donut Bar unless that resolution is to eat more doughnuts.”

Here’s what it looks like.


Campa said the idea came to him because he was trying to think of something savory to offer with beer on Friday and Saturday nights and because he has a family member who orders a grilled cheese everywhere the family goes.

The response since the grilled cheese doughnut was released last month has been “pretty crazy” including people using Uber Eats to have them delivered to their homes.

The obvious question, of course, is what does it taste like? We brought some back to the newsroom to see what Union-Tribune staffers thought.

I worried that the sweetness of a doughnut might ruin what was the favorite food of my childhood, but the cheese and cinnamon and sugar worked nicely together and wasn’t overbearing. Just a few bites was enough to get the point across.

One staffer expected it to be “disgusting” and was pleasantly surprised. Another said the highlight was the chipotle sauce it’s served with.

So how is it made?

Donut Bar takes two cinnamon sugar doughnuts, cuts off the ends and slathers butter on each side. The two pieces are warmed on a griddle before American and Havarti cheese is added to form a big, fluffy grilled cheese doughnut.

“It’s the perfect dough to cheese ratio,” Campa said. “When you bite into this doughnut, you’re getting that first bite of sweetness and then you’re getting the savory from the cheese.”

Campa said he expects to keep making this new creation through the summer, and maybe beyond.

“Whenever something goes viral, we have a duty to keep carrying it,” Campa said. “I promise it’s not going anywhere any time soon. We’re going to have it.”

Donut Bar’s grilled cheese doughnut is already taking over Instagram. Check it out.



Twitter: @abbyhamblin

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