Restaurant: Voodoo Doughnut
Last visited: August 13, 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon (Downtown)
Address: 22 SW 3rd Ave
Price Range: $10USD or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Overall: n/a, but the experience is a 6
- Very popular for locals, tourists & celebrities
- Tourist destination
- Very long lines/extremely busy
- Specializes in novelty donuts
- Creative/provocative/odd/humourous doughnuts
- Most popular donut: Bacon Maple Bar
- Handmade donuts
- Featured on Food Network
- Featured on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain
- Featured on America’s Best 24 Hour Hot Spots
- Great as gag gifts
- Catering for weddings
- 24 hours, 7 days a week
- Cash only
**Recommendations: Bacon Maple Bar, Cock-N-Balls
Voodoo Doughnut in known to locals, tourists, and even celebrities as a world “class” institution for donuts. Friends Kenneth “Cat Daddy” Pogson and Tres Shannon are the master creators behind these world-famous doughnuts. They have opened two Voodoo Doughnut store fronts in Portland specializing in the most outrageous, provocative, politically incorrect and absolutely hilarious doughnuts that people from all over the world just love.
All donuts are handmade into odd shapes and sizes (such as a Voodoo doll), with random toppings (such as Captain Crunch and bacon) and controversial names to follow (such as Old Dirty Bastard).
It has captured the attention of well known American television networks including ESPN, Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Food Network as well as gracing the pages of Food & Wine Magazine and Modern Baking. It’s even showcased in Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and the City of Portland officially declared the Portland Crème as the official Doughnut of the city.
Living in Vancouver, BC these doughnuts are not easily accessible, but thank goodness there’s Kim from I’m Only Here for the Food! – a friend and food blogger who I’ve also borrowed the photos from. He was in Portland and was nice enough to bring some of these famous Voodoo Doughnuts back for us to try. I requested the Bacon Maple Bar – THE most popular and MUST TRY donut from Voodoo Doughnut, as well as the Mango Tango and Dirty Snowball.
The Texas Challenge (a giant doughnut, equals 6 dougnuts in size, and if you finish it in 80 seconds or less they give you your money back) caught my eye since I just had the REAL version of the actual Texas Donut they mimicked – see the Round Rock Texas-Sized Donut.
So after all that hype, was Voodoo Doughnut tres excellent or THE BEST donuts I’ve ever had? No. The Round Rock Texas-Sized Donut from Lone Star Bakery in Austin, Texas is still the best donut I’ve ever had to date, although I only tried their one donut.
Voodoo Doughnut offers novelty doughnuts, but they’re still very good, fun and definitely memorable, however I appreciate the creativity more than the taste. The doughnuts themselves are actually quite regular and actually not that sweet (which is good), but what they do with them and the names they give them is literally and figuratively sweet!
Cock-N-Balls, Triple Chocolate Penetration, and even Gay Bar with rainbow Fruit Loops on top? The names are so inappropriate, but it totally works! I mean the recipes could have been invented by a 5 year old, or a drunk or high guy, and all of them can easily be recreated at home by simply using your favourite donut and adding the appropriate toppings. Nonetheless Voodoo Doughnut is still known locally, nationally and world-wide for their out of ordinary doughnuts with outrageous names.
On the table:
- Raised yeast doughnut filled with raspberry jelly topped with chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake! (characteristics of Voodoo Dolls are all different) – $1.75USD
- This is one of their signature donuts.
- The yeast doughnut wasn’t as fluffy as I wanted, but it was quite moist and almost like white bread since it’s not sweetened with much sugar.
- It’s generously filled with lots of raspberry jelly that’s supposed to represent the blood. It’s a very thick jelly and I could see the raspberry seeds, but it still tasted a bit fake and it was more sweet than tart. If you like raspberry chocolate you’ll like this donut, however the raspberry does dominate the chocolate.
- My favorite part was actually getting to the pretzel stake because it gave a salty bite and crunch to the sweet donut. I wanted the Voodoo Doll to come with it’s own package of pretzel stakes so I could voodoo the crap out of him and make it taste even better.
**Bacon Maple Bar - 6/6
- Raised yeast doughnut with maple frosting and bacon on top! $2.50USD
- The most popular, most famous and must try donut. It’s about the size of a regular Long John donut.
- This was awesome! The donut itself is not sweet but the maple icing (not a fluffy frosting) they put on top is extremely sweet and it’s more sugary with a hint of Maple flavour. They top the donut off with 2 thick slices of crispy bacon and it’s delicious! It’s sweet and savoury and since the donut is made from yeast it’s almost like eating bacon and maple syrup on top of semi-fluffy fried white bread. The smoky and salty bite of bacon is the perfect contrast to offset the very sweet maple icing. The bacon actually makes the donut better and I wouldn’t even want to eat it without it because it would be too sweet.
- I actually would prefer if they crumbled the bacon and sprinkled it over so i could have a bite of bacon in every bite.
- Remake it at home: Buy your favourite Maple Donut, fry 2 thick slices of bacon and put it on top of the donut.
- For a more sophisticated version – try the Stuffed French Toast with Bacon & Maple Syrup offered for brunch Giraffe’s Restaurant in White Rock, BC.
- Raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreo’s and peanut butter! $1.75USD
- This is not as sweet as it looks, although it gets sweeter and sweeter as you eat it. The peanut butter drizzle give it’s a saltiness that makes it not as sweet, and the doughnut itself is not really sweet either.
- The doughnut is somewhat fluffy and quite moist, but it’s not the highlight. The Oreo’s are actually very soft so it matched the softness of the doughnut and the flavours blend well together. They give a lot of roughly chopped Oreo topping, and peanut butter and chocolate (think Reese’s Pieces) is a great combination to begin with.
Dirty Snowballs – 3.5/6 (the 2 light pink ones with coconut & peanut butter swirls in the middle)
- Chocolate cake doughnut with marshmallow topping, dipped in coconut and a dollop of peanut butter in the middle! $1.50USD
- This was the least sweet of the bunch and it was also a tad smaller than a regular sized donut.
- This one was a cake doughnut and it was very dry especially with the added dried coconut flakes and peanut butter dollop. It really sticks to your throat and the peanut butter totally overpowers the coconut and chocolate taste. The marshmallow topping looks like pink icing and it was completely lost in the donut.
- I really loved having the salty creamy peanut butter with something sweet, but the peanut butter just dominated all the other flavours and made it dry and hard to chew and swallow… that sounds really bad, but it was.
- The chocolate cake isn’t sweet and it’s quite bland, and if I’m comparing cake donuts, than Top Pot Doughnuts are much better.
Mango Tango - 1/6
- Raised yeast doughnut filled with mango jelly and topped with vanilla frosting and tang! $1.75USD
- First off – ew. I love mango and this one really seemed like an inventive recipe rather than something made from literally “playing around in the kitchen”, however it completely failed.
- It was actually the sweetest and most tart of them all and for some reason it was not fluffy. It was filled with a thick mango jelly that tasted like the cheapest kind of sugary tasting artificial mango gummy candies melted together and made into a thick jam. The icing tasted the same. It was so fake tasting and overly sweet that I actually spit it out.
- Cock-n-balls shaped raised yeast doughnut triple filled with Bavarian cream and topped with chocolate frosting! $5.25USD
- The cock-n-balls was massive and delicious. Yes, insert laugh here. It’s the size of about 3 donuts and it’s actually quite pricey.
- The cock part was just plain doughnut covered in chocolate, but the balls are generously filled with lots of delicious Bavarian cream. The yeast based doughnut isn’t even the most moist of fluffy – for that it still goes to Round Dock Donuts.
- This was pretty much a Boston Cream Donut, but the Bavarian cream here is better than normal. It’s thick, rich and creamy like gourmet pastry cream without the real vanilla bean seeds. It wasn’t wasn’t overly sweet, and it’s very fluffy and I was eating it alone, and I’m not even a fan of Bavarian cream. I wish they had put the cream within the cock part as well though and not just in the balls. Geez… I better wash my mouth out… man… nothing I write about this donut will come out sounding ‘right’… and I could EASILY turn that “come” into a play on words… ok, I better stop.