OK, so this is it. The fifth and final installment of Voodoo Revisited. I realize you're all probably sick to death of me yammering about Pacific Northwest Nuts, with all their cereal ostentation and artificially-flavored powder. But a menu as extensive and outlandish as Voodoo's deserves such attention, and who knows when Blognut will get to Portland again? Plus, how many Doughnut shops offer Swahili lessons every Monday night!?
You might think it's unreasonable to visit the same Doughnut shop three times in one day. Especially since in part 3 we preached the importance of moderating one's daily Nut intake. But this was our last day in Portland, and impending fear that this was our last chance to set foot inside the great Voodoo Doughnut for quite some time, drove our hunger to previously unattained levels. So with another cup of Stumpy joe in hand, Tuesday morning we entered Voodoo for the third-to-last time.
Though we only bought one Nut, it carried the weight of at least a dozen (both literally and figuratively). Named for the posse of assistants and friends who accompanied Elvis from 1956 until the day he died, the Memphis Mafia is infamous around Portland. You can't be a super-sized banana fritter, topped with peanut butter, mounds of glaze, peanuts and chocolate chips and not build up some sort of a reputation. And how does it compare with The Doughnut Plant's equally Elvis-inspired Peanut Butter Glazed stuffed with Banana Cream? Just as delicious but far more intimidating, with its mound of toppings and mercuric density. And while it definitely brings to mind the King's classic grilled peanut butter and naner sandwich, the MM has much more happening in terms of flavor and texture thanks to the massive hardened globs of glaze, chocolate chips and crunchy peanuts. Plus the banana flavor is way more potent then you think it's going to be. A Nut among Nuts, the Memphis Mafia is certainly near the top of the Voodoo roster.
Now I forget what exactly we did next. But I know we basically killed time until it felt appropriate to return to Voodoo without seeming insane to the girl working the register. "Hello again," said the Doughnut Girl, "Back for more I see!" "Yep. Just wanted to see if you had any of those really big glazed Doughnuts?" "I assume you mean the Tex-ass. And no, we don't. But if you check back in a few hours we should have some." Perfect. Now we had an excuse to go back for a third time in one day. But as long as we were there, why not pick up a few Nuts to tide us over, you know?
So we ordered a Tang-fastic and a Butter Fingering (Voodoo just doesn't stop with these cleverly perverse names). We ate them both in the car on the way to the Bridgeport Brewery in the Pearl District, similar to NYC's Meatpacking district, minus all the idiots and celebrities.
The Tang-fastic was fang-tastic. A plain cake Nut with vanilla frosting, sprinkled with America's favorite powdered kitsch (although I don't know anyone who actually drinks it). And they definitely don't skimp on the Tang, as you can see by the ever-so-orange photo above. The foundation for the Tang-fastic is Voodoo's frosted plain cake (our first ever Voodoo Nut by the way - see Part 1), but the powerful Tangy bite shadows any semblence of taste similarity. And while the three mini marshmallows resting atop the Nut don't do much in the way of flavor, they are nice to look at. Sort of a prize for getting to the center, like one of those European Christmas cakes with jewelry hidden inside. Except no one loses any teeth when they get to the marshmallows.
Next up, the Butter Fingering. Back in July, field-correspondent Beta Blognut doled out a perfect 10.0 to this candy-coated Nut (which he referred to as the Butterfinger Ring, and was appropriately reprimanded for). And after trying it for myself, I'd have to agree. Devil's-food cake dough, vanilla frosting and loads of Butterfinger crumbs make for an absolutely perfect Nut. Voodoo has successfully joined one of my favorite Candy Bars (second only to 5th Avenue, the most underrated candy bar of all time) with my favorite of all foods. Well done.
For the next few hours we downed microbrews at Bridgeport, resting up for our final go at Voodoo.
Alright. We'd given them enough time to make the Tex-ass. It was nightfall and our plane would leave in two hours, so this was our last chance at the giant Nut. A short drive later and we found ourselves walking into Voodoo for the last time - a sad occasion for sure. But the three giant Doughnuts resting on a tray behind the counter soon lifted our mood. "We'll have a Tex-ass please. And while you're at it, throw in a Voodoo Man, a Peanut Butter Oreo (which I think is called the Ol' Dirty Bastard) and a Bacon Maple Bar." What a way to close our Portland Nut Experience - one Doughnut covered in greasy pork, one flaunting a pretzel phallus and one the size of my head (plus the Peanut Butter Oreo).
We stepped outside and while standing beneath the glowing Voodoo sign, bit deeply into our doughy voodoo doll. He bled raspberry jelly. Basically a chocolate-frosted jelly-filled, save the tiny pretzel stick protruding from his nether region, the Nut tasted far simpler than it looked.
We then pulled out the Peanut Butter Oreo, which is Voodoo at its best. A fat and airy ball of yeast dough smeared with chocolate icing, peanut butter and crumbled oreos, the PBO was absolutely REEE-DICULOUS. It's certainly the most decadent Nut we had at Voodoo, but without the overwhelming sweetness of the cereal-based Nuts we swallowed in Part 2. It's so complex, it's hard to really know what's happening while chewing it. A blast chocolate gives way to a powerful Oreoness, both of which disappear once the peanut butter hits. It's a chewy, gobby mess of delicious.
Mrs. Blognut holding Tex-ass.
We then pulled out the Tex-ass. This was hands down the most impressive Nut we'd ever seen. Something about the plain-glazed simplicity inflated to such epic proportions had Blognut mesmerized - we just couldn't bring ourselves to eat it. We passed it back and forth for nearly 10 minutes, neither of us able to make the first move. Instead we put it back in the box, agreeing to freeze it and try again next year on our anniversary. And that was it.
On the way to the airport Mrs. Blognut asked me if I was sick of doughnuts yet. "No," I replied.
The next morning, sitting at our breakfast table, we dined on our final Voodoo Nut - the Bacon Maple Bar. A work of genius really, the BMB is the pancakes, the syrup and the bacon, all in one – it's the complete breakfast. We savored every last bite of this salty-sweet creation, happy to be home, but longing for our next taste of Voodoo.
Memphis Mafia -
Butter Fingering -
Voodoo Doughnut (voodoo doll) -
Peanut Butter Oreo (ODB?) -
Maple Bacon Bar -
Tex-ass - score will be announced September 24th, 2007