Casting a spell with doughnuts

By Tara Kimura, CBCNews.ca

In the corner of Portland's cramped Voodoo Doughnut sits a glass showcase, stuffed with round cakey doughnuts topped with thick layers of shiny icing and toppings including crisp bacon and sugar cereals.

Buzz about the famed eatery had prompted my friend and me to trek across town, despite warnings from the hotel concierge that the place was both a hole in the wall and situated in what he deemed a sketchy part of town. For a moment I wondered if we should indeed go, thinking that perhaps the sweet treats were overrated delicacies consumed by tourists alone.

But in fact an eclectic crowd of teenagers, tourists, hipsters and professionals lined up outside the cramped shop. Pleased customers rushed away, carrying heavy and deep boxes. I opted for the Eminem (vanilla frosting topped with m&m candies) while my friend chose a fluorescent blue sugary concoction. Happy choices for both of us.

Oregon's Voodoo Doughnut opened in 2003. (Lynn Cullen)

The mighty little doughnut shop not only cranks out the sweet treats 24 hours a day, it also offers legal wedding services and, depending on the package, personalized doughnut centerpieces.

Fare on the sassy menu includes Dirt (vanilla frosting with Oreo cookies), the Grape Ape (vanilla icing with grape powder), and the Old Dirty Bastard (chocolate frosting with Oreos and peanut butter).

Owner Kenneth "Cat Daddy" Pogson told The Believer in a 2006 interview that at one time the shop offered a doughnut glazed with Nyquil and another iced with Pepto-Bismol and topped with crushed Tums.

“The Nyquil one was kind of a lark, but that’s the one that got the most famous," he said of the doughnuts that were eventually barred by health officials. "With the Pepto doughnut, I honestly thought if you had that shot of tequila you shouldn’t have at 2:00 a.m., and then you got sugar, bread, Pepto, and Tums, you’d either feel better or puke your ass off and then feel better because you got it out of your system. So it was a win-win either way.”

Where have you eaten on your travels this summer? Was it worth the visit?