Once you're featured on the Food Network, it seems like people will come flocking from near and far like a pack of groupies. In the case of Voodoo Doughnut, it surely appears to be the case. C'mon, why else would people line up around the block for fried dough? Ah, but hold on there, let's not get ahead of ourselves. So today, fresh from "snacking" on grilled cheese from the Grilled Cheese Grill, we headed over to downtown for some doughnuts featured on Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations". We were lucky to park across the street from Voodoo; but there was indeed a lineup that almost spanned the distance to the end of the block. How desperate were we for doughnuts? Well, apparently not that desperate because we headed over to Stumptown Roasters first for some beverages. We lounged around until the lineup dwindled to around 15 people, then we got in line. I really don't like lineups and I try my very best to avoid them. This reminded me of the time when we lined up for Krispy Kremes - oh how times have changed!
Voodoo Doughnut is ever so unassuming from the street. If you weren't looking for it, you'd probably miss it. However, if you were on the Amazing Race 13, this was one of the last places during the final episode and trust me, you would be looking for it. Once inside, the place is an eclectic mix of things which really yells out an urban funkiness. No, not an odor funkiness; rather an anti-conformist and anti-establishment vibe. Right by the counter is a rotating display of all the favourites, which include the Voodoo Doll, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Cap'n Crunch and the most famous of them all, the Bacon Maple Bar. Wait a minute... Bacon? On a doughnut? Yes, don't you know by now? Bacon makes everything taste better. What do you think flavours your chowder, makes your baked potato and completes your burger? But of course I had to get one! I regret not getting a whole dozen of these bad boys! The maple glaze combined with the smoky crispy bacon is a match made in heaven. The salty and smokiness of the bacon helps offset the sweetness of the maple glaze. Add to the fact the actual doughnut is soft and almost fluffy, it's a study in texture contrasts. I spent the rest of my time in Portland dreaming about and craving the Bacon Maple Bar. The only thing stopping me from returning to Voodoo and getting more was the fact we still had quite a few doughnuts in our hotel room. Furthermore, I was planning to visit Top Pot in Seattle in a few days.
The tongue-in-cheek quotient is satisfied with the jelly-filled Voodoo Doll. It looks more like a chocolate Gumby in excruciating pain; yet like a voodoo doll, it comes complete with a pretzel stick impaling the poor thing. One bite into the doughnut and a rush of raspberry jam comes gushing out like the blood from a vampire's victim. The Ol' Dirty Bastard is a delicious concoction of crushed Oreo cookie with peanut butter drizzled on top. Chocolate and peanut butter together is always a good combination. So was it worth the lineup? You sure bet it was! Unless you don't like doughnuts, these fried gems are both creative and tasty. If you are the impatient type, then you could go visit the 2nd location out at 1501 NE Davis. But for me, I had to visit the original location. C'mon, it's been on the Food Network and the Amazing Race! Who said I'm a sucker for commercialism and shameless product placement?
The Good: - Really original and interesting doughnuts - Bacon Maple Bar, enuff said - Doughnuts are large - Open late