Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Return To Voodoo Part 1
Voodoo Doughnut is technically a doughnut shop. But it’s really more of a philosophy. The walls are an intoxicating pink. The patrons tattooed. And the occasionally obscene – and always absurdist – doughnuts come decorated with cereal, Tang, bacon and – before the FDA stepped in – Pepto Bismol. And because all existential milestones are better experienced in the presence of fried dough, Voodoo doubles as a wedding chapel and offers something called a “coffin full of doughnuts,” which I assume is just what it sounds like.
Three years ago my wife surprised me with a first anniversary vow-renewal ceremony at Voodoo. Legally ordained minister and Voodoo co-founder Tres Shannon officiated beneath a massive doughnut altar and a velvet portrait of Isaac Hayes. Fruit Loops were tossed in the air (Get it? Like small doughnuts) and Shannon presented us with a life sized doughnut representation of our cat Dominic. It felt wrong eating the head but we managed. The whole thing is detailed in this five-part post, and here’s our cat in doughnut form:
And his head:
That was our first trip to Portland, and we've wanted to go back ever since. And move there really. Because between the coffee, beer, trees, music and food, it’s just about ideal. This time we decided to tour the entire Pacific Northwest, starting in Portland, moving on to Seattle, and ending up in Vancouver where the Tim Hortons flow like Chinook Salmon. We took the red eye and sat beside a women who, between a frantic cycle of make-up removal and application (“Sorry about the light, I’m putting on my face,” she said around 2:00 AM with a thick New York accent) and the violent shaking of a pill bottle, had to be at least partially insane or withdrawing from something. Hence, we got very little sleep and hit our Ace Hotel mattress hard. First thing in the morning we grabbed a Stumptown in the lobby and headed to Voodoo.
Last time we over-indulged in the cereal-topped varieties I mentioned earlier. Like the one with Cocoa Puffs:
The one with Fruit Loops:
And the one with Captain Crunch:
Insane right? What twisted mind cakes a crunchy mountain of Cocoa Puffs on top of a chocolate frosted?! I wouldn’t be surprised if the lady from our flight moonlights as Voodoo’s baker. But this time we stayed away from cereal, save one encounter with Rice Krispies which I’ll get to later. We instead kicked it off with a simple vanilla-frosted cake doughnut with sprinkles (see Mrs. B holding up top), like the one that symbolized the “ring” in our vow-renewal. The dough was perfectly light and soft with a bold cinnamon-sweet flavor and an airiness rarely seen in cake varieties; it was noticeably better than last time (improved dough recipe?) and instead of our original colored sprinkles flaunted red, white and blue for the 4th.
The rest of our haul – the Marshall Mathers, the bacon maple bar, and a doughnut with a mustache – would have to wait; we had a morally questionable rendezvous with a foie gras doughnut that night and needed to save room.
Stay tuned for Part II