Treat to Try: Lil Donut Factory
There are basically two types of donut purveyors in the Columbus Market. There are DIY shops, ones that use a single-recipe donut base as a foundation for frostings and sprinkles that guests customize on the spot. And then there are donut shops that cook up varied donut base recipes, frost them, and then arrange them in counters for guests to claim.
Lil Donut Factory’s name suggests the former model, but it’s really the latter. Located next to a gas station, it’s an eclectic stop with a sketch of Patrick Swayze* proudly greeting customers through the window. The Factory is stocked with shelves of donuts in an array of variations, including blueberry, sour cream, buttermilk and yeast, and filled.
Let’s take a whirlwind tour. The Buttermilk is the prettiest thing; chestnut brown and glazed, it looks like a regal crown. The confection is as light as air, and a good vehicle for the sweet icing shell. The craggy, heavier Sour Cream is probably the least attractive, but its crags make space for extra glaze pockets which compliment…anything. One’s light, one’s heavy: it’s all about donut balance.
There’s a chocolate peanut butter combo, too. It uses the hole in a conventional donut as a well for a dollop of soft, sweet peanut butter filling. That was a win. It’s donuts; they’re all wins. And at Lil Donut Factory, they’re also a bargain: A half-dozen is $5.74.
So, how to get these: Good question. They open early, around 5:30 a.m. on weekdays, 7 a.m. on weekends. They stay open until they sell out. If you’re driving, look for a gas station, not a donut shop. The fuel stop overwhelms other signage. All this said, the place is at 4543 Scioto Darby Rd. in Hilliard, which is scheduled for epic road construction: Look at a map, take another route (maybe Leap Road). Also, the Donut team is taking a short vacation starting July 26. Get your fix this weekend or wait a few days ’til August.
*90% sure that was Patrick Swayze.