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26 Catt. 1: In re Mac’s Donuts

2013 December 4
by CATTLEYA, J.

Opinion of JUSTICE CATTLEYA, in chambers.

I am called upon today to decide the case of Mac’s Donuts (“MD”). MD is a food cart that sets up shop every Saturday morning at the Courthouse Farmers’ Market in Arlington, VA. When I learned that this food cart serves fresh apple cider donuts on a day when most food trucks and carts in the area are closed, I jumped at the chance for a much-needed weekend mobile gastronomic treat.

Mac's Donuts

Mac’s Donuts

 I. MAC’S DONUTS

MD’s signature menu item is its “Stick-o-Donuts,” a skewer of six mini apple cider donuts. In fact, it has received a lot of excellent attention for this. See Jessica Voelker, The Great Doughnut Derby: We Have a Winner, Best Bites, April 23, 2013; Sarah Anne Hughes, The 11 Best Doughnuts in the D.C. Area, DCist, November 6, 2013.

If I had not already known that MD had an apple cider donut on its menu, I would have known as soon as I walked into the parking lot where the Courthouse Farmer’s Market is held. Even though MD was three or four food stands away from the entrance, I was immediately surrounded by the rich and inviting scent of apples and sugar.

I had fully intended to get the apple cider donuts. I didn’t think there was anything else on MD’s menu. But on the day of my visit, there was. At the bottom of MD’s menu board was written “croissant donut.” I was told that they has been made just minutes ago, and when I asked which menu item was best for a first timer, I was pointed to the croissant donut. I took the recommendation.

II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

This Court has already held that donuts are true street food. Mama’s Donut Bites, 18 Catt. 1 (2013); see also In re Eat Wonky, 2 Catt. 5 (2011) (defining street food as “the kind[] . . . that can be cooked in front of you and [is] meant to be eaten with your hands, without forks, while standing up”). Thus, MD’s croissant donut is entitled to the presumption of affirmance, unless I show a serious flaw with the deep-fried treat. See In re Big Cheese, 6 Catt. 2 (2012). As explained below, I affirm in part and remand in part for revision.

Croissant Donut

Croissant Donut

 III. CROISSANT DONUT ($2)

While the craze-starting Cronut from NYC’s Dominique Ansel Bakery is filled with cream, coated in sugar, and topped with glaze, MD’s version of the half-croissant, half-donut treat was, in comparison, rather plain. I didn’t take advantage of MD’s powdered sugar station, expecting the croissant donut to be served in a complete, ready-to-devour state. I typically view stations with powdered sugar, syrup, sprinkles, etc. the way that I view salt on the dinner table – I shouldn’t have to use it unless something has gone wrong. Unfortunately, without that sugary dusting, MD’s croissant donut lacked flavor and sweetness.

Texturally, however, MD’s croissant donut was more successful. The crisp exterior lent a beautiful bite, and the inside was soft and had visible layers of dough. While I can’t really say that it was light (is it even possible to be?), it certainly wasn’t greasy.

IV. CONCLUSION

I found it satisfying to walk around on a clear, chilly fall morning — cold enough for a coat, but not enough yet for a scarf — with a warm croissant donut in one hand and hot apple cider in the other. MD’s croissant donut was not the best version in the area. (I don’t know what is, but a very surprising contender comes from a trained French pastry chef who runs a small Filipino grocery/hot food bar in Arlington called Philippine Oriental Market.) Still, MD’s croissant donut was not a complete disappointment. From a textural standpoint, it was executed well. I just would have liked to see some embellishment to enhance the flavor.

AFFIRMED in part and REMANDED in part to Mac’s Donuts for revision. It is so ordered.

One Response
  1. Mac's Donuts permalink
    December 4, 2013

    This is great! thanks for the review. In our defense the croissant donut isn’t our staple, but we like to experiment. We thought we would try something new. I used to make them for our staff and then I decided to sell them too.

    Also, I think the way you write your reviews is pretty clever.

    You should come back and try the apple cider donuts to begin the appeal process.

    Thanks again, Mac’s Donuts

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