Battle Doughnuts Down the Shore
MARVEL'S MARKET VS. CRUST AND CRUMB BAKERY
Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the perfect summer getaway of Long Beach Island (LBI), New Jersey. Along with thousands of other Philadelphians, Friday after work we headed to the beach or "down the shore" as many locals would say. My husband's godparents own a lovely home right near the beach; and they are so kind to invite us to stay with them during the summer again and again. Their home and company is so comforting and relaxing that we rarely leave the house or the porch except to go to the beach. And rarely do we eat out, since they are incredible hosts, who cook and serve fabulous recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, there is one good reason to leave the house. Doughnuts.
Long Beach Island, a beautiful barrier island on the Atlantic Coast and summer escape for Philadelphians, New Yorkers and New Jersey residents, is home to not one but two amazing doughnut shops, which are so popular that lines creep out the door and down the street at each location every weekend morning during the summer. When we visit LBI, conversation often turns to food and one debate that is never solved is what place has the best doughnuts, Marvel's Market or Crust or Crumb Bakery.
Saturday morning we head out down the main drag, Bay Avenue, to purchase new sunglasses for our beach weekend, buy deli meat and cheese for lunch and pick up some White Cream Doughnuts from Crust and Crumb. Our stop to Crust n' Crumb was late enough in the morning so we didn't have to wait in the usual long line. We walked right in and ordered a half dozen White Creams, the star item at Crust & Crumb Bakery and Deli. You can tell just how dense these doughnuts are by the weight of the white box of doughnuts. As soon as we got back to the house, we dove into the doughnut box with a fresh cup of coffee. These large crumbly doughnuts are rolled in just the right amount of white powdered sugar and filled with a sugary-sweet white cream that could send you straight to the dentist. I cut my hefty doughnut in half to see all the white creamy goodness hidden inside. This is the kind of doughnut that you cut little pieces from it thinking that there is no way you can eat it all but you end up eating it all anyway because it is so good! Thoroughly satisfied with our doughnut breakfast, we were ready for a long day enjoying the beach.
Sunday morning comes too fast but one thing we are ready for is a trip to another LBI doughnut staple, Marvel's Market. After a nice morning walk on the foggy shore, we continue our walk to Marvel's, which is not too far from the house. Much hotter than the day before, we hope the line is not too long. But long it was! Out the door and trickling down the street, the line was just as long as it usually is. The sun was beating down as the dedicated LBI regulars waited to put in their doughnut order. Some left as the long line and hot, hot sun was just too much to take but we hung in there. After about 20 minutes or so, we were approaching the entrance and soon enough we were inside, where it was equally as hot as outside. With little air circulation and fresh doughnuts cooking before your eyes in the doughnut fryer, it was sticky and steamy. As we inched our way to the counter, I could feel our victory getting closer and closer. We watched as perfectly round doughnuts dropped into the fryer, two by two. The doughnuts went on their little journey down the conveyor and dropped into the giant bowl, where they are immediately picked up and tossed into a sweet cinnamon sugar mixture. Into white bags and into happy customers hands, Marvel's Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts can't be beat. The journey for these fresh off the fryer doughnuts was about to end because we could not even wait to get home before sticking our teeth into one of the dozen and a half cinnamon sugar delights. The soft and buttery freshly fried dough melts in your mouth while the sweetness of the sugar and spice of the cinnamon offers an undeniable flavor combination. As soon as we brought the white bag of Marvel's marvels to the house, everyone grabbed one of these to enjoy while they were hot and fresh.
In Battle Doughnuts, I have to pick Marvel's as my number one pick but it isn't really my style to choose favorites. A Crust & Crumb doughnut and a Marvel's doughnut are so different that they should not be compared. They fulfill two kinds of doughnut styles and are both excellent choices when visiting Long Beach Island. It is too hard to choose between these two which is why we stopped in at both. Next time your travels take you to Long Beach Island, New Jersey, then be sure to stop in at Crust & Crumb and Marvels for the best doughnuts "down the shore".
Crust & Crumb Bakery
Bay Village, 9th St & Bay Ave
Beach Haven, NJ
4 W Maryland Ave
Long Beach Township, NJ