There are times that restaurants will do almost anything to get an edge over its competitors. Adding something extra can entice customers to come back and, who knows, make it a local attraction. In Vancouver, Cactus Club has celebrity chef as “food architect” but, still not all dishes work for me, not to mention the environment in general. However, such “innovations” can be more basis. As basic as making it visually appealing while maintaining the regular/default recipe. Such is the case of Voodoo Doughnut, a successful doughnut shop in Portland. The premise is these pieces of fried dough serves as a blank palette for some wacky decoration and motif. The question for me would be: how does the doughnut actually taste in the end???
Voodoo Doughnuts Too, the location where I ended up purchasing the good.
Now, when such small independent join opens and success hits, it would be only a matter of time it would expand. In the case of Voodoo Doughnuts, it seems being open 24 hours wasn’t enough, it opened a second location in Portland as well as a third location in Eugene, OR. When I originally decided to go to Voodoo Doughnuts, it was already past 8:00 p.m. when there was still a small line. However, after queueing up for over 5 minutes and looking that it wasn’t moving (not to mention the people ahead of me was already waiting for a while, I decided to call it quits). So, before I drove back to Vancouver, I decided to give it another try. Alas, this time, the queue went around the corner! Nope, I wasn’t that willing to wait so, instead, I chose to go to their second location in Portland.
Fortunately, it wasn’t that busy but, still, the same goods were available. So, without further ado…
Clockwise from 12:00, Old Dirty Bastard, Lemon Chiffon Crueller, Marshall Matters, Apple Fritter (below it), Arnold Palmer, Voodoo Doll, Dirty Snowballs, Triple Chocolate Penetration and, in the middle, between the two Dirty Snowballs, the Mango Tango. Below some of these, the Maple Bacon.
And, just in case, some close-ups.
Lemon Chiffon Crueller, Marshall Matters with the Apple Fritter below it.
Mango Tango, Arnold Palmer, Voodoo Doll and Dirty Snowball.
Now, for the most part, I am not that much of a doughnut eater. Sure, once in a while for kicks but, given the option, doughnuts will not necessarily “cut” it. So, when I dropped by Mijune’s place (as she is the first person after border crossing), my expectations weren’t that high. That also brings a side note: there were a couple of hours between I got them and actually eating them. So, there might be small chances things will be skewed due to transit time.
Anyway, for the most part, I didn’t care for them. Reasons are several but, in general, if you take away the fact they have that decoration motif, there isn’t anything else that makes them stand out from the rest. In fact, some added parts takes away from the doughnut instead. For example, in the case of the Triple Chocolate Penetration, the cocoa puffs were flat which resulted in some wacky biting experience. One that went really south was the Mango Tango – in this case, the jam inside had a wacky taste that wasn’t too “natural” and didn’t match the overall “sweetness” of a donut.
Three of them sort of work: the Voodoo Doll which has a raspberry jam filling that actually worked (unlike the mango one), plus the pretzel can provide some savour overtones if required; the Old Dirty Bastard, which chocolate was able to salvage some of the overall doughnut and the Maple Bacon which provides some savouriness, though, without it, as a maple doughnut, it didn’t work (the sweetness was really strange).
Yeah, one of their signature doughnuts, the infamous Cock-N-Balls. When I was at Mijune’s place, her parents arrived and, to say the least, they had a giggle as well. But, how to eat this doughnut? At first, it was cut as if the penis was castrated, just to find out there was no Bavarian cream in the portion. So, we had to end up cutting the testicle side so to show the cream. Well, at least anatomically that is correct…
Actually, I will admit, this doughnut wasn’t bad. I think had the cream distributed more evenly (at the cost of anatomic precision), it might have been easier for consumption. Otherwise, for giggles, oh, well, it works.
Overall, I didn’t believe it was worth the hype. Again, for giggles at first, it would be fine. In fact, I was tempted to write something in Twitter on the lines of: “Who wants some Cock-N-Balls?” and list a couple of food bloggers. Of course, that would have lead to all sort of misunderstandings. But, past that, I am not convinced it is worth the price of admission. In fact, I would rather go to Tim Horton’s. Now, I know some of you might be looking at this funny but, hey, at least when I can do this:
Yes, as suggested by Matt of Vancouver Slop in this post, I went to Timmy’s and order a Canadian Maple donut (actually, I ordered it as part of a meal with a sandwich) and asked for a side of bacon (the challenge was to “convince” them to have the bacon as a side rather than “in” the sandwich. How does it compare? As mentioned by Matt, it is not as crispy, thinner and was a bit more oily. However, it had a more smoke-y taste than the Voodoo Doughnut ones. Furthermore, there is one winning point specially if you are up for cream: The Timmy’s version have cream inside. So, since the novely wore off for me, I don’t have a hurry to go back.