But for all that is being written about the presence of cronuts in the city, there's been very little about how they actually taste.
This is not a comprehensive survey of cronuts in Chicago. After sampling the doughssant at the West Town Bakery & Diner, I have fully satisfied my curiosity. The doughssant, incredibly, combines the worst qualities of croissants and doughnuts. Which is kind of astonishing, really, because I never realized croissants and doughnuts had bad qualities. I mean, obviously, some are better than others, but when deep frying or large quantities of butter and sugar are involved, it's really hard to go wrong.
But somehow they did. The exterior of the doughssant tastes of neither butter nor sugar, but of cooking oil. Perhaps it had been sitting out too long, but since it was only 10 AM, this didn't say much for its shelf life.
That was OK, though, compared to the interior. Nothingness was better than the oddly bitter coffee-cream cheese filling. (And, in retrospect, an unlikely mix of flavors. Cream cheese goes on bagels, which are eaten as a complement to coffee, not in the coffee itself.) West Town Bakery also offers doughssants in blueberry lavender and chocolate raspberry. Maybe those are better. Or maybe you could just get a croissant. And a doughnut. And, if you must, some blueberry jam.
It's so sad when a ridiculous food trend turns out to be nothing at all. On the bright side, though, if you feel like waiting in long lines for food, there's still Hot Doug's and the Doughnut Vault, God bless 'em.
Here's what became of our doughssant:
West Town Bakery & Diner, 1916 W. Chicago, 703-904-1414, westtownbakery.com