First stop: Voodoo Doughnut.
Voodoo is a quirky, suggestive donut shop that's open 24 hours a day, with lines twisting and turning outside the sparkly brick building through pink gates.
“A culinary example of just how weird Portland can be”, these colorful 24/7 Old Town-Chinatown dessert dens are “worth a stop” even “just to gawk” at the “huge” corner-curling lines for “extremely imaginative”, often “hilarious”, pastries like the “to-die-for” bacon-maple bar and “as-good-as-advertised” signature Voodoo Doll; all in all, the "novelty" makes it a “must-visit”, especially for “visitors.” (Zagat)
We took our place in line outside of the shop. The bright pink gates, the sparkly brick siding, the neon lighting and fencing all made me think we might be at a strip club. But, we weren't.
After waiting for quite a while, we were finally inside and able to order. Cash only.
The donuts are all sort of gimmicky, with one called "Cock-N-Balls" and filled with Bavarian cream. There's "The Homer," with strawberry icing and round sprinkles. There's a "Marshall Mathers" dcake donut with mini m&ms.
But, I went for some classic ones -
The Voodoo doll is filled with raspberry jelly and topped with chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake.
The Bacon Maple Bar has maple frosting and bacon.
The Maple Blazer Blunt is dusted with cinnamon sugar, the top is dipped in maple frosting and red sprinkle embers.
So, I think these were actually good. I know they're tourist-central, but a good jelly-filled donut is a good jelly-filled donut. I think the blunt and the maple bacon were a little lackluster. But the namesake voodoo is tasty.
Voodoo Doughnut in Portland Oregon, Eugene Oregon, Denver Colorado, Austin Texas, and now L.A. California, was the brain child of Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon who had been friends for a while. They always wanted to start a business together. Something that would fit into an extraordinary Portland Oregon business climate. Something fun, different, and one for the ages.
Cat Daddy with his stunningly brilliant business sense, and Tres with his seemingly endless supply of connections, set forth to conquer Old Town, Portland Oregon, and the world with the Doughnut!! After a meeting with some Armenians and drumming masters, they were ready to set up shop in the “crotch” of Portland — Old Town.
There was only one problem, neither Cat Daddy nor Tres had ever made a doughnut before! They set out for the sunny Los Angeles suburb of Pico Rivera, California, where they met up with some doughnut masters, and learned about doughnuts from the ground up. These old, grizzled doughnut veterans knew what they were doing and were barely willing to give up their trade secrets at first.
But the charm and good looks of our Portland heroes eventually won over the doughnut masters, and the secrets were revealed to them. Learning when to throw the flour, proper handling of a rolling pin, the intricacies of an old fashion, the “flip,” and countless other tricks of the trade were now in the hands, minds, and notebooks of Cat Daddy and Tres. They returned to Portland regaling the locals with tales of Brad Pitt eating one of their early maple bars, a Chick Hearn memorial documented on Japanese Television, featuring Voodoo Doughnuts, and the wild, wild, times of California — artists, actors, washed up sports stars, old people, disillusioned tourists, and musicians. Ah California… Portland soon learned of these tricks and Voodoo Doughnut became the best tasting doughnuts in the world, chico!!
After flying in some “Voodoo Oil” from down south, acquiring the nuts and bolts of their shop, the boys started tinkering around with their methods that soon became known locally, nationally, and worldwide. People have talked about Voodoo Doughnut in Tibet, on Easter Island, Japan has some stylish folks sporting the latest Voodoo underpants, and friends have shared a buttermilk bar in Tanzania. I’m sure some corners of the globe have yet to be penetrated. Stay tuned! (STORY)