Welcome to Voodoo Doughnut, a Portland icon for over 13 - Oooh! How numinous! - years.
The maze of bright pink metal barricades in the front of the store (crowd control) clued me in on the shop's popularity even before my companion told me that it often has lines out the door. I was fortunate to be there off season; there were only three parties in front of me. This gave me time to listen to Metal music from the stereo system while checking out the weird decor.
The chair shaped like a coffin.
The stained glass window of their Voodoo Doll doughnut, the bumper stickers claiming "The Magic is in the Hole", a few photos of voodoo icons, a velvet painting of Kenny Rodgers, and this delightfully weird offering:.
The shop, open 24 hours, really seemed to be trying to live up to "Keep Portland Weird". Yeah, I was liking this place. But, as they say, the proof is in the doughnuts. With all this voodoo kitsch, was this going to be just another gimmick, good for a one-hit tourist visit but not pulling through in the long-term taste department?
Viewing the parade of crazy doughnuts on the revolving shelves in the lighted case, I was skeptical. (Most of the following photos were taken through the glass so I apologize in advance for their quality.) A doughnut in the shape of male genitals with "Wang" written across it in icing sounds gimmicky to me. I doubted it could taste good. The flavors were wild and varied - Maple Bacon, Triple Chocolate Penetration, Diablos Rex, and Dirty Snowball. The decorations were even wilder - a doughnut in the shape of a blunt, and one with a pentagram on it.
|You know you wanted to see the penis doughnut.|
Here's a shot of the inside of the pink voodoo cake box (even their boxes are unique) with my choices:
You'll note that the apple fritter was the size of Russia. It was going to be heaven or an entire bottle of PeptBismol.
After repeatedly stabbing the Voodoo Doughnut with the pretzel in honor of a former boss, I bit off the arm violently to the metal music that was pouring from the stereo system. It was cathartic. And delicious. The texture was light, the chocolate intense, and the doll had a bleeding heart of pure raspberry jam. Not the gloppy, sicky-sweet kind I'm used to from my local eastern chain, this stuff tasted fresher and fruitier. (They advertise the use of Kelly's Jellies. Kudos to Kelly!)
My experience with the Triple Chocolate Penetration was less satisfying. A cake doughnut glazed with chocolate, studded with puffy, chocolate flavored cereal, I found it too sweet and not nearly as chocolatey as the name would suggest. I disliked the cereal puffs enough to pick them off. Unfortunately, most of the glaze came with them. The remaining doughnut was milk chocolate flavored, unappealing to this dark chocolate girl. Two bites and I was off to the apple fritter.
Angels sang, doves were released to the skies above, the earth moved. Okay, no, but the fritter was REALLY good. Yummy fried dough taste on the outside, right amount of glaze, no grease penetration to the interior, great texture. My one criticism - a bit short on apples. But - hey! - did you hear what I said? Yummy fried dough taste. Who needs apples?
Voodoo Doughnuts had worked its magic on me. I walked out a very happy sugar zombie.