Would you ever eat a doughnut called “Dirt” that was covered in vanilla frosting and Oreo cookies? Would you try a fritter that was called “The Memphis Mafia” and featured chocolate chips, banana, and peanut butter? What about one called the “Bacon-Maple bar”?
All of these options (and much more) are available on the menu at the inexplicably wonderful shop called Voodoo Doughnut. And on day 77, just a couple hours after I was given a wonderful walking tour of the city, I stepped into this uniquely “Portlandesque” establishment.
At the time, I had no idea it was day 77 of my journey to the West Coast and back. (I only calculated it when I started writing this article.) But in retrospect, a lucky number like that seems very fitting since I accomplished so much on that day, including a wonderful walking tour of Portland; seeing the view from the Bancorp Tower; and, of course, visiting the ineffably amazing Voodoo Doughnut shop.
If you’ve never heard of it before, realize that Voodoo Doughnut is kind of a big deal in Portland.
Even the LA Times has noted that Voodoo Doughnut is an international tourist attraction, and for good reason. Where else can you get an “Arnold Palmer”? (A cake doughnut covered with lemon and tea powder.) Or a “Grape Ape”? Heck, they’ve even got one called “Cock-n-Balls”; but since this isn’t that kind of website, I’ll refrain from showing it here. (But I think you know where to look.)
Experiencing the Voodoo
The shop is rather minimalistic for creating such outrageous food. There’s no seating. You just enter, order your doughnut, and leave. Actually, I should be brutally honest here. Depending on the time you arrive, you may be waiting in line for a half hour or more. During my time in Portland, I actually saw the line extend to the corner of the block, so the shop’s fame can be a double-edged sword depending on when you stop by.
But once you’re in, you’re going to see some weird things.
A lot of weird things.
This charming drawing of a Voodoo master commanding zombie doughnuts into a pink box is a prime example of some of the weird things you’re going to see. There’s also a painting of a tuxedo-wearing skeleton sitting at a table holding a doughnut in what I can only describe as a death grip. (A photo of that is in the accompanying photo album linked to at the end of this article.)
Good Things Come in Pink Boxes
The menu on the wall covers the gamut. I mean REALLY covers the gamut.
Everything is broken down by doughnut category: cake doughnuts, raised doughnuts, fritters, specialties, “potations” (drinks), and an impressive selection of vegan doughnuts. The menu itself has a good sense of humor, sporting such sayings as “The magic is in the hole” and “Good things come in pink boxes.” The second statement referring, of course, to the signature pink boxes that Voodoo Doughnuts come in. Indeed, I could see many of them behind the counter, stacked in the “doughnut kitchen”.
Getting to the Nut of the Doughnut
If you’re a lover of doughnuts, or even if you’re just a fan of creative food, I highly recommend you checkout Voodoo Doughnut when you visit Portland. They even recently opened a second location in Portland (called, appropriately enough, Voodoo Doughnut Too) as well as one in Eugene, Oregon. And, as any local would tell you, no visit to Portland is complete without a visit to Voodoo. The place has personality, creativity, and perhaps most importantly: it has a great sense of humor.
Just be careful of the Bacon-Maple doughnut. 😉
Checkout the Voodoo Doughnut photo album and find Marco! →
If you’re new to “Where’s Marco?”, learn how to play →
Next: A Million Stunning Roses
The following day I was treated to a million stunning roses in colors usually found only in dreams, and I didn’t even have to leave Portland to see them. Where did I go? Find out, in the next article…
All photos from this event are in the Voodoo Doughnut – Portland album.