Wonuts or Woe-nuts?

// Written by Joy Cho //

First it was Dominique Ansel’s acclaimed “Cronut”; now it’s the “Wonut” that’s apparently all the rage. After hearing about this waffle-doughnut combo through a friend, I decided to give it a try at Waffles Cafe.

It sounded either really good, or just unnecessarily hyped. A group of friends had made the journey after church downtown only to find that the prized wonuts had sold out by 10 a.m. The guy on the phone later told me it was actually 9 a.m (the cafe opens at 8:30 a.m). That’s thirty minutes, folks, before they’re gone.

A friend and I got lucky, calling back around 5 p.m. and finding out that there were two Mexican Chocolate wonuts left. We scurried over to Waffles Cafe from the coffee shop we were studying at, feeling like we were in on some kind of a secret. The store was largely empty, and the waiter immediately asked us if we were going to eat there or were looking for wonuts. When we told him we were after the wonuts, and he led us to the fresh batch nonchalantly resting on a wire cooling rack.

The chocolate-covered pastries were surprisingly (and disappointingly) small, and sold for the hefty price of $2.35. Still excited, we grabbed napkins and began to eat the wonuts straight out of the box (we got 4, but two were for other people, I promise). After one bite, my friend’s face fell as she remarked that “it just tastes like a donut.” When I bit into mine, I found that she was absolutely right.

The wonut was light and crispy (and warm, too), but the inside was very similar to a lightened donut—that’s really all there was to it. It tasted a bit too much like the oil it was fried in, and the doughnut part inside didn’t even really match up to the standards of a really good doughnut. I did appreciate the coating of Mexican chocolate on the outside, though it became pretty messy. I literally used five napkins to wipe my hands, my mouth, and my face.

So is it worth the hype? That would be a big, fat “NO.” It’s pricey, and in the end, it’s just a fried waffle. I’d take a doughnut at Glazed & Infused, or the waffles at Wildberry, any day (on separate occasions, of course). It might be worth trying, just to say that you “got a wonut,” and to judge its yum factor for yourself. But sometimes, mash-ups in the sweets world just don’t match up to the originals taken separately. The wonut is a perfect case in point.

Get them (if you so wish) at Waffles Cafe
Neighborhood The Loop
Address 203 E. Ohio St. Chicago, IL 60611
Phone 312-846-1242
Hours Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Friday-Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

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