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Casting a spell with doughnuts

kimura-tara-52.jpg
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.

Voodoo.jpg
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?

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Comments

Laura Friesen

Winnipeg

Holy cow, Tara, I've never wanted to go to a doughnut shop more in my life. Thanks for the post!

Posted August 31, 2009 01:46 PM

bjbartell

Toronto

What did they taste like?

Posted August 31, 2009 07:16 PM

Tara

hi bjbartell - They were a good treat -- the doughnut was puffy and cakey and the icing was sweet but not too sweet.

Posted September 1, 2009 06:17 AM

EdM

My favourite Voodoo offering is the maple bacon. It was written up in the national post a few years ago and it tastes like a pancake breakfast.

Posted September 1, 2009 08:21 PM

Laura

I live in Portland--how exciting to see my favorite doughnut spot on the CBC site's front page! I don't even want to think about how much weight I've gained there over the past few years. The mango doughnut's my all-time favorite (sadly, I've eaten enough of them to be able to say that for certain). :)

Posted September 1, 2009 08:54 PM

tasha

Vancouver

If you're into doughnuts I also recommend Top Pot Doughnuts in Seattle. My partner and I just visited there recently and wow, they were good!!

Posted September 2, 2009 05:56 PM

Julie

Canada

Wasn't this shop one of the stops on one of the Amazing Race shows?
Seems I've seen it somewhere before...

Posted September 14, 2009 10:14 AM

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Amber Hildebrandt Amber Hildebrandt writes for CBCNews.ca in Toronto. Growing up on a farm in Manitoba, she acquired an insatiable appetite, but it was during a stint in Japan that she developed her discerning tastebuds and "foodie" ways.

Andrea Chiu Andrea Chiu is an associate producer at CBC Radio Digital. Though she loves to eat, cook and discuss food, don't ask her to bake. It never turns out well. She tweets as @TOfoodie on Twitter and organizes food and wine events in Toronto called FoodieMeet.

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Elizabeth Bridge Elizabeth Bridge is a writer with the CBC Digital Archives in Toronto. She first ventured into the kitchen as a child to indulge a sweet tooth by baking cookies and making fudge. A student budget compelled her to be a vegetarian (for a while) and instilled in her an ongoing curiosity about food and cooking.

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