Olivia Dish

Adult Doughnuts

In Portland, Sweets on October 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm
Voodoo Doughnut

Their slogan: The Magic is in the Hole

I once worked with a woman from a conservative “think tank” who was outraged that her children were exposed to Horny Goat Weed at the convenience store checkout counter.  “Why should I have to explain that?” she wanted to know.

I recommend that she never take her darling daughters to Voodoo Doughnut.

Portland Cream Doughnut

The official doughnut of Portland

In case you haven’t heard of it, Voodoo Doughnut is a popular destination in Portland, Oregon. It’s also a great example of how you can take your average doughnut, tart it up with a rude name and junk food toppings, then create a sensation.

My friend Adora Adeel and I were working in Portland. She’d brought her daughters along on the trip.  They, like every other visitor to Portland, had been urged to go to Voodoo Doughnut. So we did, on a Friday night around 8:30.

Voodoo Dougnut Line

A long line, even longer by the time we left.

The line stretched out the door and down the block. A panhandler, camped out in front of the door, asked us for money. Pierced and tattooed teens stood all around. The girls, with their pink monogrammed hair bows, looked as if they’d dropped in from another planet. “What’s voodoo?” the younger one asked me. “Why does the gingerbread man on the sign have pins sticking in him?”

Inside, more opportunities to expand their horizons surrounded us.  Fortunately, they didn’t seem to be too clued in, though I was waiting for the younger one to order an Old Dirty Bastard (raised yeast doughnut topped with chocolate frosting, Oreos and peanut butter) and a couple of Cock-N-Balls (raised yeast doughnut triple filled with Bavarian cream and topped with chocolate frosting).

Voodoo Pink Boxes

Signature pink box and an opportunity for more Voodoo subtlety: "Good things come in pink boxes."

In the end (which would carry all sorts of double entendre around dear old VD, I suppose) , the worst we had to utter was “I’ll have a triple chocolate penetration. Oh and a Portland Cream.”  The Portland Cream, by the way, is the city’s official doughnut as decreed by the mayor and city council in 2008.

All in all, it was a fun outing–the fun heightened, of course, by the potential for embarrassing questions and a conscientious mother’s mortification right before my very eyes.

But, that other sticky question must also be answered: how were the doughnuts? Good. A little too sweet. Not the worst I’ve had, but not as good as the simple chocolate iced doughnuts I found at a little no-name panaderia near Harlingen, Texas.  Actually, I think I like the doughnuts at Publix just as much as the Voodoo doughnuts; that’s not in any way meant to be a slight to this Portland institution. I think the ones at Publix are pretty good.

Voodoo Burnside location

A peek inside their downtown location

But really, if you’re in Portland, you should go; it’s amusing–and simply one of those things you do. There are two locations, but I’m thinking for visitors the  shop just off Burnside is the one to see. If you know Portland and believe otherwise, do let me know.  Both locations are open 24/7, which is easy enough–just be sure to take cash.


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