Food & Drink

You can now get a doughnut burger at this SLO County spot — but only for a limited time

Cool Cat Cafe launches doughnut burger for April

Cool Cat Cafe has a new menu item this April: a doughnut burger using sweet treats from SLO Donut Co. in San Luis Obispo and Surfside Donuts in Pismo Beach.
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Cool Cat Cafe has a new menu item this April: a doughnut burger using sweet treats from SLO Donut Co. in San Luis Obispo and Surfside Donuts in Pismo Beach.

If mashing together two popular mealtimes — or sweet and savory foods — is your thing, you should probably introduce yourself to the doughnut burger.

Cool Cat Cafe in San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach has partnered with local doughnut shops, SLO Donut Co. and Surfside Donuts, to offer the new menu item: a bacon burger with sharp cheddar cheese, a whole fried egg, sriracha mayo and two glazed doughnuts as buns.

It's called the "Dough-Not Knock it ’til You Try it."

According to manager Julie Corpuel, the burger first originated at the Cool Cat Cafe's Lahaina, Maui location as part of a Burger of the Month promotion, but this is the first time it's been tried in SLO County.

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"We've had nothing but positive feedback from our customers on the 'Dough-not Knock it 'til You Try It,'" she wrote in an email to The Tribune. "Intimidating at first glance, it's the perfect combination of savory and sweet!"

Now, you may remember this trend from a few years back — around 2015 was the peak of the what-weird-burger-combinations-can-we-make craze (remember the ramen burger?).

SLO County even got in on the action with a doughnut burger at Garland's Burgers in Grover Beach (which according to their online menu is still available).

SLO Donut Co. business manager Brandon Miller said the popular doughnut stop has long wanted to release some sort of doughnut/burger mashup, but because they of course don't cook burgers, they knew they would need to partner up with an actual restaurant.

"It was practically fate," Miller said. "We love working with other local businesses, so we of course jumped on the opportunity to make our doughnut burger dream come true."

And apparently it's pretty good, too.

"I promised myself I would try a bite to say that I’ve tried a doughnut burger," Miller said, "but one bite turned into two, and then I finished the whole thing. Oops. A trip to the gym is probably in order, but it’s so worth it."

According to Miller, the burger isn't as "overwhelming as it looks" — the sweet contrasts with the saltiness of the bacon and the spicy siracha mayo, he said.

South County people can also get in on the action: Cool Cat Cafe in Pismo Beach partnered with popular Surfside Donuts for the same burger.

"I’m not sure if one of their cooks got bored and wanted to try it out, but we are more than excited about it," Surfside Donuts owner Carrie Vanzandt said. "Our employees and myself have been three times to eat this beast!"

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Vanzandt said Surfside Donuts makes a doughnut breakfast sandwich with bacon or sausage and a fried egg every day, but they never thought about upping it to a burger.

"Serious next level," she said, noting that they've been "flying off the shelves."

The burger is currently only available for the month of April, though both Miller and Vanzandt said they would be open to a longer collaboration if the menu item proves to be popular.

Which now-defunct burger joints do longtime San Luis Obispo residents miss the most? Here's a look at 4 of the most-loved, long-gone hamburger restaurants in the city of SLO. Is your favorite former burger joint one of them?

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928; @kaytyleslie
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