Thursday, December 3, 2009

Voodoo Doughnuts

I've read really good reviews of Voodoo Doughnuts, and really bad reviews. Plus, I'm spoiled by a ridiculous variety of extraordinary Vegan Treats donuts here on the east coast. So, I was actually willing to bypass Voodoo on our eating journey through Portland. However, on our way to the Saturday Market I couldn't help but notice a line coming out of an unassuming establishment relatively early on an otherwise desolate street. Lo & behold, it was the SW location of Voodoo Doughnuts; I couldn't pass it up.

It was nice to hear that other people on the slow-moving line were also waiting to partake in the vegan donuts, but all I heard from folks coming out were mutterings that there weren't many flavors available. Picky, picky! In the olden days there were no vegan donuts!

When we got inside, it became obvious why there was a line into the street: the shop only only holds about 8 people at a time. It's kind of creepy and dimly lit, never an appetizing effect in an eating establishment. But, in stark contrast is the brightly lit, rotating case of donuts in the corner. Despite the lengthy overhead listing of donuts, though, the only ones they have are the ones within the case and you can't see them until you're second on line! Note: the donuts in the case are real donuts displaying the current variety available. There are trays upon trays upon trays of fresh "stock" behind the counter.

Surprisingly, the lone guy at the counter acted neither like a primadonna or a gestapo- and he easily could have, given the demand. He patiently answered all questions and did not rush anyone. There were more vegan varieties than we expected, although out of 6-8 options, 2-3 were the same flavors in different shapes. Either that or he was just tired of answering, "What's that one? What's that one?" All of the vegan donuts looked very appetizing and just as donutty as the non-vegan versions, of which there were significantly more and quirkier options. We decided upon an iced cake donut covered in chick-o-stick crumbs and a larger, pleasantly lumpy-shaped apple fritter.

The chick-o-stick donut tasted like Mister Donut donuts I remember as a kid: fresh, dense, and cakey- almost crispy on the outside. It was delicious and perfectly enhanced by just the right amount of icing and a generous amount of chick-o-stick. Although I don't like apple, the fritter was a lighter, airier donut with an appetizing fritter glaze; my apple dessert-loving companion enjoyed every bite. Overall, we were both please and surprised by the donut caliber and would definitely recommend Voodoo as a stop on your own tour of vegan Portland. They are hard to miss; Voodoo has two locations (SW and NE "too") and are open 24 hours.

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