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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Magic is in the Hole at Voodoo Doughnut 8.17.11

Family comes first here at Shereen Travels Cheap headquarters, which means that my whole weekend was full of family gatherings all centered around food and having a good time. I didn’t have time to devote to a brand new blog post, but I did have time to hit up Voodoo Doughnut in my hometown with a cousin and aunt. Since it has been called an international tourist attraction, I decided to tempt you with pictures of all the horribly delicious sweet treats we purchased and ate at the lovely outdoor dining benches set up all around the city to promote summer outdoor dining. I think my sugar buzz just now wore off from Sunday morning’s jaunt to what might be the most popular locally owned doughnut shop ever.


Voodoo Doughnut opened in 2003 and has remained a Portland staple/attraction/landmark ever since. They stay open 24 hours at all 3 of their Oregon locations (2 in Portland and 1 in the university district of Eugene) to serve up tasty and downright crazy combinations of ingredients served up on your favorite kind of fried dough. Even though they only accept cash, the line is still usually snakes out the door and winds down the sidewalk. A line full of tourists and locals alike with coffee in one hand and their camera or phone in the other to prove to people they actually visited the most unique doughnut shop people have ever heard of. The claim “The magic is in the hole,” but I also think it must be in their freaky flavor combinations, awesome employees and neverending hours.


So, have you not heard of Voodoo before? Between their frequent mentions on the Travel Channel and Food Network on shows like No Reservations and Man vs Food as well as write-ups in national magazines and newspapers, I would be surprised if you hadn’t, but for those of you not in the know, let me tell you some of the cool aspects of Voodoo besides their be-sparkled brick exterior. That’s right, gold and sparkly, as in covered in irremovable prismatic glitter by some way or another. And you thought just the inside was fun with all the delicious, delicious doughnuts.
This isn't even the full menu
I will tell you that in all my time living in Portland, this has only been my second trip to Voodoo and my first to the flagship location downtown, but I know there are people who make it a habit of hitting it up anytime they make it downtown, because they can and the doughnuts are kinda habit-forming. In fact, when you stand in line for 30-45 minutes for a glazed doughnut covered in grape powder and purple sprinkles (and then make the decision at the counter that all that time in line deserves another half dozen to take home), only to look forward to coming back, that says something about a place…especially when you had to stop at the ATM before showing up, because they only accept cash.

This was the line at 9:30am
Saturday and Sunday morning are good times to grab a place in line at Voodoo, because you can eat your sugar-filled yum-fest, take your pink box back to your car and then walk off many of those calories – and make a little bit larger dent in your wallet – at Portland Saturday Market. It’s free to roam around and see all the handcrafted items, like soap, jewelry, dishes, food products and more. You’ll find one or two things you can’t leave without and then be ready to rest and then cram some more food in your face. Put your name on the lunch list at Mother’s Bistro (or make reservations ahead of time) and enjoy fine brunch offerings featuring local products.

Of course, a popular time to hang out there is also Friday and Saturday nights after stumbling from the bars and clubs. I’m sure a sugar-laden hunk of fried dough covered in chocolate and/or cereal sounds especially good at 2:30am, considering how good it can sound at any other point in the day.


Each Voodoo location is decorated differently, but similarly. With unique and eclectic chandeliers, artwork and voodoo dolls, you’re getting a total Portland experience. Not like we’re all weirdos here in the Northwest, but we do like to be different. Besides, normal doesn’t get you on TV or people traveling from across to globe to sample your wares. You gotta be a little wacky to get noticed and that’s exactly how Voodoo Doughnut operates. With doughnuts called things like the Memphis Mafia, Marshall Matters, Old Dirty Bastard and Grape Ape, you expect to be mesmerized by what’s on the menu. Well, let me tell you, with over 90 varieties available, that won’t be a problem. Of course, if something called a Butter Fingering or a Dirty Snowball offends you, you can always get a classic crueller, cake or glazed doughnut. Voodoo even offers vegan doughnuts, so nobody feels left out. Round off your sugar-coma-in-disguise with a great cup of Stumptown coffee (also available: hot tea, ice water or even milk).


Want to drool even more? Here’s just a small sample of their giant menu:

Captain My Captain: vanilla frosted doughnut covered in Cap’n Crunch cereal
Portland Cream: Bavarian cream filled doughnut covered with chocolate with two eyes staring back atcha!
Mango Tango: vanilla frosted doughnut filled with mango jelly and topped with Tang. (Yes, the stuff that the astronauts drink.)
Gay Bar: cream filled bar covered in vanilla frosting and a rainbow made of Froot Loops cereal
Memphis Mafia: fried dough topped with banana chunks and cinnamon sugar and then covered in glaze with chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate chips
Old Dirty Bastard: chocolate glazed doughnut covered in Oreos and peanut butter
Neapolitan: chocolate cake doughnut covered in vanilla frosting, strawberry dust and marshmallows in the center
Triple Chocolate Penetration: chocolate cake doughnut dipped in chocolate and covered in Cocoa Puffs cereal
Dirty Snowball: chocolate cake doughnut with marshmallow topping, covered in coconut with a peanut butter dollop in the middle




What makes Voodoo even more special? Well, if you love doughnuts so much they put you in the mood to get married, you can have your wedding right inside with a coffee and doughnut catered reception. Seriously, if none of this makes you put Portland on your list of must-see places, I’m not sure the Northwest is really a place for you. If you do plan to be Oregon-bound at any time in the future, make sure you subscribe to my Portland Budget Travel Examiner column for great deals in and around the Portland area. You’ll find affordable things to see and do, as well as places to stay and ideas for day trips. Who better to help you plan your trip to Portland than by someone who lives here and loves it?
The Portland Cream sees you!
Triple Chocolate Penetrations and a Grape Ape 


Winner! I have two great giveaways happening. 


The first is for a Travelon Flat Out HangingToiletry bag stuffed with a bunch of awesome stuff: GoToobs courtesy of Human Gear, rinseless laundry detergent courtesy of SoakWash, a selection of LaFresh wipes, some travel sizes of men's Jack Black toiletries, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, Colgate Wisps, nail polish remover wipes, anti-bacterial wipes, sunblock, body wash, Man on the Move soap leaves and (not shown) 2 toothbrush sanitizers. What more could you ask for? Throw in some lip balm and your toothbrush and go! Enter here or click on the Current Giveaway tab at the top of the page.


The second giveaway is sponsored by Travelon. They have generously offered to send one of our readers their fantastic Pack-flat Backup Bag. It's an extra carry-on bag for your travels. Packs flat for your journey there and then unzips into a full carry-on bag that fits under the airplane seat for all the goodies you bought on your trip. Click here to enter.

Don't forget to join me on the awesome new Savvy Living Community sponsored by Ebates. Not only will you learn how to save money by better utilizing Ebates, but you will also be able to read Savvy blog posts and join in discussions and live chats with Savvy Leaders (like me!) to learn how to save money on all aspects of your life. With 16 bloggers who are experts on everything from travel to family life, you're sure to learn a lot of new information, find some great new blogs and even make some friends along the way. Join Ebates. 



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