After hearing that one of the Kitsap County Fair and Stampede vendors was serving up a glazed doughnut burger, my initial reaction was to be disgusted. Through the day, my imaging of the burger wavered between revulsion and excitement over a mix of salty and sweet. Either way, this thing had to be tasted.
The burger has been served at various state fairs and at least one ballpark in Illinois. Variations include whole doughnuts for each bun, additions of bacon and at the Wisconsin State Fair, it apparently included chocolate-covered bacon.
At the Kitsap County Fair, it’s served simply with one doughnut sliced in half with a beef patty and slice of American cheese. Photographer Meegan Reid was told that next year, the vendor will deep fry the whole burger, as if somehow the estimated 530+ calories weren’t enough. (That calorie count is my guess, based on addition of calories for one hamburger patty, one Krispy Kreme glazed donut and a slice of Kraft cheese that I got from caloriecount.about.com.)
The burger was delivered to the newsroom (courtesy of reporter Chris Henry) minus the glittering sheen of freshly grilled patty and grilled sugar coating (apparently the doughnut is grilled topside down). Also not in this particular burger’s favor was that by taste-test time, my impressions were colored by co-workers who had offered polite no-thank-yous and mildly disgusted facial expressions at the call to a taste test challenge. So that’s my disclaimer. You can see my reaction in the video below. With me in the taste-test challenge is criminal justice reporter Josh Farley and sports reporter Jeffrey Graham.
Here’s where I’m supposed to write that surprised reaction about how great the thing tasted (which seems to be the consensus in newspaper articles about the thing). Sorry to disappoint.
However, it really wasn’t that bad. My main criticism: As a sweet/salty combo dish, the hamburger isn’t really savory enough to stand up to the incredible sweetness of a glazed doughnut, not like, say bacon does. Maybe the cook should take an idea from Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts and add some maple bacon. Or maple, bacon and peanut butter. Or a spicy Thai peanut sauce, bacon and doughnut (which on second thought may not be that good after all). Even then, though I’ll take a plain sweet funnel cake over this any day.
Did you try it? What did you think?