For a couple months this year, I had the chance to sample some of the smaller but no less tasty fried creations by some relative newcomers to the local food scene. One newcomer is part of a movement that has become a topic of national debate, while the other mirrors a more traditional but oft-told tale.
Wall Street Journal article. Amidst this debate comes Lily's Mini Delights, which touts the GF-status of their donuts proudly on their cutely designed cart. In the latter category, we have Mauger's Mini Donuts with their more traditional mini-doughnuts. As detailed in this Pearl Market blog post, the two retired owners of this food stand started this venture as a fun way to stay active in their community.
Both Lily's and Mauger's use essentially the same mini-donut making equipment and offer a sugar/cinnamon mix as their standard doughnut topping. The only real difference at first glance, other than the price (Lily's is typically $1 more per dozen than Mauger's doughnuts), is the gluten-free nature of Lily's offerings.
|Donut machine in action, plus Lily's and Mauger's Minis.|
First, we'll start with Mauger's version. Their mini-doughnuts are fried up nicely, with a light brown exterior with easily distinguishable holes, a soft and pliable structure, and a light and airy texture inside.
In contrast, Lily's fried treats are more compact and rough-hewn at first glance. The person manning Lily's cart said some of their donuts need some added fryer time; this led to a slightly darker and crispier exterior for some of my doughnuts (an aspect I ended up not minding at all.) The inside texture was also definitely different, something of a cross between a Hostess Crumb Donette and a freshly-fried up churro. The doughnut was also quite dense - I started feeling full after after three-fourths of my bag was finished.
As far as taste, I don't think there was too much different between the two. Neither doughnut tasted greasy or showed any signs of being fried in older oil. And the cinnamon-sugar blend works perfectly well for both of these doughnuts, though other options are available.
Verdict? Traditionalists will probably lean toward Mauger's mini-doughnut, but I believe Lily's has a perfectly pleasant sweet treat themselves. If you see them around your local farmers market or festival, order up a bag, and share them with a friend. I bet that makes both your days just that much more happier.
(Note: I sampled these donuts when they were regular vendors at The Pearl Market in Downtown Columbus.)
Future scheduled appearances include The Canal Winchester Blues & Ribfest and Columbus Oktoberfest
Lily's Mini Delights
Future scheduled appearances include Easton Mall Farmers Market and the Franklin Park Conservatory Farmers Market
2017 Update: Lily's Mini Delights appears to have gone kaput; their last Facebook activity was recorded at the end of 2015. However, Mauger's Mini-Donuts keeps frying away - for further updates on their latest events, please consult their Facebook page.