Prompted by this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/879324 and not wanting this to get buried in the 77+ replies in that thread, I thought I'd start a new one dedicated to Donut Bar.
I know it's a bit late but finally got around to trying Donut Bar.
First thing, the parking is a bitch.
Second, the ladies are super nice. So that sort of makes up for the parking hassle.
The donuts. I'm not a breakfast donut person but I picked up a dozen (+2) and shared with the folks back at the office.
The damage from the pics below incl. creamicles, lemon pistachio, old fashioned, blueberry Meyer lemon, chai, and chocolate euphoria. Plus a cinnamon roll and a bear claw.
Overall, I think the flavors are interesting but the texture of some of the donuts is a bit off. The old fashioned, for example, was more airy and light than it should be. And while the blueberry Meyer lemon was zesty the donut itself (a cake) was too puffy.
In any event, they're doing cool stuff and SD needs more places like this. Just hopes its survives the parking issues and lack of consistent foot traffic.
Donut Bar: http://www.facebook.com/DonutBar
Donut Bar actually has a brilliant location and not needing much more foot traffic. It sits between five office buildings (all but one of which have over 20 stories). There are at least 3-5 other large office buildings within two blocks of Donut Bar. So that means there is probably somewhere between 6,000 to 15,000 people who are within two blocks of Donut Bar every single weekday.
These are people who grab a cup of coffee before work, grab a cup of coffee on a coffee break, and/or grab a cup of coffee as an afternoon pick-me-up. Throw in morning meetings where people get donuts, and you have a huge potential market. Oh, and these people are absolutely captive - driving in Downtown during the day is a royal pain in the butt. That's why there are no less than eight places serving coffee in the mornings within 1 block of Donut Bar.
Which is why there was a line out the door for a free tasting of Donut Bar's donuts about a week before it opened. Its why Donut Bar sells out every day (usually by around 2 p.m.).
They close at 2, and they generally (from what I'm told) stop frying/baking by about 8 or 8:30.
I think there's a saturation point with repeat players when it comes to donuts. The novelty is going to wear off eventually, and no one really enjoys paying $3-5 for a donut on a regular (or even semi-regular) basis.
As to coffee, there's no way they can compete on java alone when there's a Starbucks, Elixir, and Better Buzz, just to name a few, within a dead body away from them. (The $1 espresso look like a good deal, however).
I hope they can draw some of the tourists/visitor crowd from the nearby hotels.
Like I said, I'm pulling for them. But the tides are what they are. We'll see.
Donut Bar update--we went there today. We arrived at 10:00 am. The only donut left was the old-fashioned (with a partial chocolate frosting). At 10:12 they wrote "sold out" on the front window. Very friendly service by the way. Now, for the donut (singular) itself. Nothing special. Over-priced for a very average old-fashioned. Not bad mind you. Chocolate icing was not high quality. Cake part good enough but I can buy the same at Ralphs for less. They sure seem to have (in theory) some very interesting flavors which may well be much better than the old-fashioned. Parking problems and long lines mean I doubt I will be tasting those anytime soon. A disappointment to e sure. Emperor's new clothes.
It's there, but based on my statistically insignificant sample of one defective one, I wouldn't recommend waiting in line for too long for one.
The one I was given didn't have the "hole" punched through completely, and so the inner/middle of the doughnut (deeper than about 3/8") was raw. The first time I've ever had a raw doughnut, and I'm not a fan. The outer bit was something like a well-executed kart churro.
I also had a taste of a coconut creme one, and that was better, but it's not going to replace Rose's or Donut Touch at the top of my go-to list.
Having tried the cronut I can tell you that you aren't missing out on much.
If you must experience it I suppose the best way is simply to find your favorite croissant (Zanzibar?) and donut (Mary's?) and eat them together by taking alternate bites of the two.
You'll get 99% of the cronut experience. The 1%? The 3-4 hour wait in line (or the money it takes someone to wait in line for you).
"find your favorite croissant (Zanzibar?) and donut (Mary's?) and eat them together by taking alternate bites of the two"
Don't you also have to take an occasional bite of your favorite baklava, as well? Or will the croissant suffice?
And doesn't the donut have to be cream-filled and have a glaze topping?
Or am I thinking of a Craynut instead of a Cronut?
So many complications...
Cronut™ is a registered trademark. Only in NY http://dominiqueansel.com/cronut-101/
There were posts on here about Azucar serving a Craynut on Mondays only.
Paris Baguette serves a 'Croissant Donut' (originally they called it a "Kronut" but apparently there were problems). The PB location inside Zion has either a line or you can pre-order (I think two at most) of 'Croissant Donuts" available at 1 p.m. daily. I bought one at the HMart location of PB in July before most people knew it was being sold there and got the last one from the tray.
It was good, but quite rich and filling. $3 and easily shared.
Speaking of which...
The Paris Baguette's "croisssant donut" (a nice generic name) is now available daily at noon at Zion. But I'm told by staff that you really need to be there by 11:50 to get one (or two, max).
I wish these places didn't play the "hard to get" game so much with new & trendy offerings. But they do. I suppose it adds to the mystique.