Friday, October 12, 2012

Voodoo Donuts is black magic!

When we were in Portland, we went to Voodoo Doughnuts. This place is a Portland icon and sometimes the line is wrapped around the block with patrons eager to taste the likes of Triple Chocolate Penetration or Dirty Old Bastard. While the shop is unique and quirky, and the doughnuts certainly have interesting names, I found the result to be less than stellar.

I love doughnuts but I, like anyone, have my favorites. The Portland Cream was basically just a bismarck doughnut with little eyes drawn on it in frosting. The Triple Chocolate Penetration turned out to be a chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting and Cocoa Puffs on top. Jeff and I shared a huge banana fritter drizzled with peanut butter and chocolate chips, and crushed peanuts. It was tasty, but messy. We decided we must bring home a dozen of these special treats and ordered an assortment, including one with pink sprinkles and a piece of Double Bubble in the center, and another citrusy one with what appeared to be orange jell-o sprinkled on top.

Honestly? I didn't think they were all that special. Nor did they hold up well. They were stale the very next day, when I took the "voodoo" doll one with me on my way to work. It was a basic chocolate-covered raised doughnut shaped like a ghost with a face and a "V" on it in frosting and a pretzel stick stuck in it like a pin (get it? Voodoo doll!). Besides being stale already, I was disappointed to see it was filled with red goo which tasted like raspberry and was entirely gross (I hate any version of "gloppy fruit"). The tastes I had of the other doughnuts were also just ok.

I think if you choose carefully, and eat them fresh, Voodoo Doughnuts would be yummy. But there's no way I'd stand in line for them for very long. As it was, we were there on a Tuesday mid-morning and the line was just spilling out the door. We waited about a half hour. The dozen doughnuts cost us $22. And the whole experience was just "eh".

I'd much rather have Krispy Kreme (the cream-filled, chocolate covered one is my favorite) or even Frost donuts - which I have never been all that impressed by. I guess I'm simple - I love a maple bar (plain, no bacon, thank you) or a chocolate bar, or even a good old-fashioned glazed. My favorite doughnut of all time was one from a bakery in my hometown that I can't even remember the name of. They had a cream-filled one (the cream tasted exactly like the cream-filled Krispy Kreme ones - which is not to be confused by the custard-filled ones that are entirely different), and it was dusted with powdered sugar. It was heaven! I probably only had one a handful of times but I still remember how delicious it was and have always tried to find a doughnut to replicate it (I never have).

Lesson learned: putting crushed Oreos or Fruity Pebbles on a doughnut and giving it a quirky name will not make it taste any better. Sometimes, simple IS the best.

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