Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Voodoo Donuts - How to do donuts?

As we continued our trek through the wonderful city of Portland, we came across Voodoo Donuts.  Well, actually we didn't really come across it.  I'd heard of it on Man vs Food, and given my love for the deepfried delights, I convinced my wife to try it out.  We asked the concierge at the hotel, and were glad that we did, as the main store was closed for renovations.  He must have seen the look of despair in my eyes, as he then mentioned the satellite store across the river. 

 (disclaimer:  I'll be using 'donut' instead of 'doughnut' here.  Why?  Just want to change things up!)

I was expecting a quirky kind of shop, but certainly wasn't prepared for the overload of pink that was awaiting us.  Even the truck was pink.

We showed up about 11am, which must have been coffee break time.  The line up was out the door, and took us almost 45 minutes to get through.  That may have had something to do with having one cashier, and not serving the next customer in line while waiting for coffee to brew for the first.  It did give me a lot of time to look around the shop though.

I was a little affected by sticker shock when I saw this 'coffin' for sale.  $100, filled with donuts?  Not exactly a good deal, by my standards.  Then I went into a greater state of shock when I looked at the menu prices.  I'm used to seeing donuts for around $1 up here in Canada.  The cheapest (and most plain) was $0.95 at Voodoo, and from there it went up to $3.95!!!!  Better be a darn good donut for that price...

They had a bunch of donuts spinning around in a fancy display, to help push you over the edge and buy the big expensive ones.

We selected their trademark donut, a strawberry one, and a very special one.

Voodoo Donut  (~$2.00)

Yup, that is 'blood' and a little face.  They draw a heart in icing, fill the donut with raspberry jam, and jab a pretzel stick through the heart to draw out the blood.  They also throw a little face on him.  It was basically a Boston Cream donut with raspberry jam instead of custard.  Not worth the trip if you ask me ~ the jam stayed at the bottom, so you got a giant mouthful of it when you bit that section, and the rest of the donut was pretty dry.  Pulling the arms off was a little fun though; reminded me of eating gummy bears in my youth!

Strawberry/Marshmallow Donut (~$1.50)

A bit of an oddity, this one.  I have definitely had better cake donuts.  The outside of the donut was very crunchy, and there was very little strawberry flavour.  Unfortunately there was too much strawberry flavour to go well with coffee.  Not enough to go with anything else though.  The perfect balance of not enough/too much.  I was slightly disappointed in Voodoo Donuts by this point, and was looking for a miracle to save face.

Peanut Butter Drizzled Oreo Fudge Donut (~$2.00)

I have no idea if that is what they call this beast, but they should.  The name fits the flavour to a tee.  This was that miracle I was hoping for.  It salvaged our trip to the donut shop, and almost the wait in line.  It was about as decadent as I could hope for (I wasn't prepared to try the maple bacon bar), and  needed a cup and a half of coffee to finish.  I don't think you'd see anything like this in Vancouver, and assume that it has at least 600 calories.  The donut itself was a little too tough, but the flavours were wonderful.  Definitely worth it if you like Reese Peanut Butter Cups, chocolate, peanut butter, or any combination of the above (yes, I have put peanut butter on peanut butter cups).

Overall I suspect that Voodoo Donuts survives thrives on its name alone, attracting tourists such as I, and locals that go due to it being the 'in' place to go.  I certainly would not be making this a regular destination, since I could get 3 donuts somewhere else for the price of one (literally) here.  But is it worth a visit if you are in Portland for a weekend?  Definitely!

Voodoo Doughnut Too on Urbanspoon

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