First Bites

LoKal's Doughnut Burger Now Uses a Salty Donut Creation

Matthew Kuscher's doughnut burger was around long before his eatery LoKal opened its Coconut Grove doors in December 2011.  

"I grew up in a Dunkin' Donuts that my dad owned in the '80s," he says. "That's when they were making doughnuts from scratch. I actually hated them, so my siblings would make burgers with doughnuts because that's the only way they'd get me to eat them." 

Dubbed "My Childhood Dream," Kuscher's doughnut burger has had a face-lift: The Salty Donut now supplies the dough. Miami's first artisanal doughnut shop — which pops up every weekend in Wynwood at 29 NW 24th St., across the street from its soon-to-be permanent location — delivers a couple dozen doughnuts to LoKal three to four times a week.

"I support local and integrity wherever I go and as much as I can," Kuscher says. "I didn't have the option in the beginning, but now that I can, it was a no-brainer."

The Salty Donut altered its traditional glazed buttermilk doughnut to make it just right for Kuscher's vision. Before the Salty Donut came along, Kuscher used Krispy Kreme's traditional glazed variety for the burger's bun. 

"Matt and his team knew exactly what they wanted," says Andy Rodriguez, cofounder of the Salty Donut. "So Max Santiago, our pastry chef, made a few different versions until we had it perfect."

Because the Salty Donut's doughnuts are thicker and doughier than Krispy Kreme's, Santiago adjusted his recipe, making the dough lighter and airier. "Max did some tweaks with the gluten development, the proofing, and a few other things to get it to where it was exactly what they needed," Rodriguez says. 

"Normally, a person gets a doughnut and just eats it," Kuscher adds. "We're putting it on a grill, so we also needed a lot more glaze because it comes off as it cooks. The size was perfect, but we just wanted a couple changes to keep that sweet-and-salty flavor profile."
LoKal makes My Childhood Dream ($12) by cutting a doughnut in half, searing the outside, and adding a seven-ounce beef patty, American cheese, and candied bacon in between. A fried egg can be added too. 

"We all tried it the other day," Rodriguez says. "It's the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and rich. We did it with an egg on top too because why not, and it was beyond awesome. It's definitely a rich dish, but it's one of those things you just have to take the plunge and try. It's too good not to."

Since partnering with the Salty Donut, LoKal has sold more than three times it usual number of doughnut burgers, Kuscher says. 

"We're really excited about this whole thing," he says. "I love to create local synergy. It's been crazy, but it's been a lot of fun."

And for anyone unsure of how to stomach such a decadent sandwich, Kuscher says, "Just think, you're literally having my childhood dream."

Follow Clarissa Buch on Twitter.
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor, with her work appearing in print and digital titles worldwide.
Contact: Clarissa Buch