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18 Catt. 1: In re Mama’s Donut Bites

2013 March 6

Opinion of JUSTICE CATTLEYA, in chambers.

Recently, a new food truck caught my attention on the streets of Arlington. The pink-colored truck featured a cartoon woman (to my eye, a dark-haired cross between Jane Jetson and Lucille Ball) serving an enormous tray of donuts. It was named Mama’s Donut Bites (“MDB”), and I could not stop myself from granting cartiorari to review MDB under the authority given to me by Rule of Procedure 2-2.

Mama's Donut Bites

Mama’s Donut Bites


The procedures of this reviewing tribunal dictate that I must first determine whether MDB’s donut bites are street food. This is because the Cart presumes that street food should be fully affirmed. Food that does not qualify as “street” is not entitled to the same presumption and must prove its worthiness. See In re Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2 (2012).

This court has defined street food as “the kind[] of food[] that can be cooked in front of you and [is] meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up.” In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011). We have consistently held that baked goods, like cupcakes, cheesecakes, and pies, are not street food. See In re That Cheesecake Truck, 10 Catt. 4 (2012); In re Sweetbites, 10 Catt. 1 (2012); In re Dangerously Delicious Pies, 4 Catt. 4 (2011). Although donuts would seem to easily fit into the non-street-food category of baked goods, MDB’s donuts are different. For one thing, they are deep-fried, not baked. More importantly, they meet the three elements of the “street food” test. First, they can be prepared in front of the customer. When MDB sets up at farmers’ markets in Northern Virginia, customers can watch MDB make the donut batter and then fry the rings. Second, donuts are meant to be eaten with your hands, for how else would you get to enjoy the pleasure of licking any excess frosting/sugary topping from your fingers? Finally, donuts can be easily eaten while standing up. Therefore, MDB’s donut bites are proper street food, and this Cart presumes that the donuts should be affirmed. For the reasons below, I would affirm MDB’s donuts even without this presumption.


MDB’s menu is simple. It sells bite-sized donuts, plus coffee. A bag of 6 donut bites is $3, a bag of 12 is $5, and a bag of 26 is $10. A 16-oz. cup of coffee is $1.50. On my visit, MDB had apple cider donut bites available. It creates other flavors, including red velvet donut bites with cream cheese frosting.

Apple Cider Donut Bites

Apple Cider Donut Bites

Although I think of donuts more as a breakfast item than as a dessert, MDB’s apple cider donut bites were a sweet way to end my afternoon meal. MDB explains that they are “made with local apple cider and fresh apples then tossed in a delicious cinnamon-sugar mixture.” The hot, made-to-order mini donut rings were a perfect size to pop in the mouth. The apple cider flavor was appealing, and the cinnamon-sugar made it addictive. The donut bites were generously tossed in the cinnamon-sugar mixture, as evidenced by the sugary mound at the bottom of my bag, and yet they managed not to be too sweet. To my delight, the donut bites were light, fluffy, and not heavy in the stomach, which made it easy to keep reaching into my bag for another, and another, and one last piece, and then just one more. . . and one more.

For those who want to kick up the sweetness, MDB has a help-yourself toppings bar with options such as homemade raspberry preserves, white chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel, and rainbow sprinkles. The apple cider donuts were delicious on their own and did not need any toppings, but I tried the raspberry preserves (because I can’t resist homemade foodstuff) and white chocolate (because white chocolate goes so well with raspberry). Both toppings were spot on.


The members of this Cart typically wait a few months before reviewing a new food truck in order to serve the causes of fairness and justice. I made an exception here because (1) although new to the line of food trucks during the weekday lunch service, MDB has been serving its donut bites on weekend mornings at farmers’ markets in Northern Virginia (e.g., Westover, Falls Church, Vienna, Dale City) for over a year; and (2) I find no fault in MDB’s donut bites.

I conclude that MDB knows how to make a hot, fresh, and tasty donut. Usually when I grab donuts on the run from convenience stores or breakfast chains I end up regretting the wasted calories, but not here. There is no comparison. These donuts are worth it. And I can’t wait to try more donut bite flavors for breakfast or dessert.

AFFIRMED. It is so ordered.

One Response
  1. Mama's Donut Bites Familia permalink
    March 6, 2013

    Thank you for all the love & wonderful review!! The adorable lady on the truck is an animated version of our Mama (: (crazy curly hair, pale skin & hazel eyes)
    You’ll usually see either Mama’s son, Rod, or daughter, Elaine, with Mama rolling out our bites of heaven on the MDB truck. We’re always experimenting with new flavors & toppings so feel free to message us with any recommendations.
    MDB Familia

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