People who knew I was going to Portland, Oregon told me I had to visit VooDoo Doughnuts. A good doughnut or donut always commands my attention. So, the idea that a little dark magic might be mixed in the batter made it all that more appealing.
Today, gourmet doughnut shops can be found in many cities around the world, but when they opened in 2003, VooDoo Doughnuts was really out there. It was a perfect concept for Portland, because, you know, Portland is kinda weird.
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Hotels in Portland Close to VooDoo Doughnuts
The original VooDoo Doughnuts is located in Old Town Portland. Night spots, theatres and more keep a crowd flowing through the doors 24 hours a day. During the day, plenty of museums, restaurants and other businesses create a demand.
The closest hotel to this original location is the Embassy Suites at 3rd and Pine. A cool, historic hotel in its own right, the Embassy Suites advertises a VooDoo Doughnut package. Uou pre-order your doughnuts and an Embassy employee will stand in line for you. The pink box is waiting at check in or whenever you want it.
You have a 2 a.m. doughnut craving? They’ll get it for you.
Looking out my hotel room on the fourth floor of the Embassy Suites at 3rd and Pine, I could see people standing in line IN THE RAIN. Three a.m., I awoke. People were queued up like they were waiting for tickets to the last Beatles concert.
One morning in the hotel elevator, I talked with a father and young son who had stood in line 90 minutes for their pink box of goodies. The little boy was quite proud.
Finally, on my last night in Portland, on a Sunday evening, just before going to bed about 11 p.m., I looked out my window.
Experiencing VooDoo Doughnuts in Portland
The line inside was about 30 minutes long. But I was thoroughly entertained by the glowing pink walls and unusual display of merchandise and people. I had no need for pink VooDoo underpants, although a candle by which to worship doughnuts was tempting.
I focused instead on the revolving display case of doughnuts to figure out what I wanted. With three cashiers working simultaneously, soon it was my turn. I told the woman to surprise me with whatever half dozen she thought most interesting. That surprise cost $18, which was really not too bad considering the entertainment value.
She included one VooDoo Doll, the most popular VooDoo doughnut. It would have been my pick anyway, because of the chocolate icing and the raspberry filling. But the little pretzel through its heart just made me laugh out loud.
Traveling with VooDoo Doughnuts
As I departed PDX the next day, I had a fan club, smiling with approval as I worked my way through security and onto my flight carrying a big pink box.
But this is the problem. VooDoo Doughnuts does not ship their colorful, flavorful treats because they are best eaten within ten hours of coming out of the fryer. They are that delicate.
So, even though I had an early morning flight, between connections and bad weather, it was a good 18 hours before I placed the big pink box on our kitchen table in Kansas City. My husband and son appreciated the effort, but yuck, they were just not as good.
Doughnuts with Special VooDoo Magic
The night I was in the Pine Street location, the staff had created about 40 different kinds of doughnuts. There were some shapes that would make a lady blush and some flavors that, just a few years ago, would have been illegal to offer.
Overall, the doughnut offerings are harmless. A bubblegum flavored doughnut; a doughnut covered with Fruit Loops; another covered with Oreo cookies; another one wrapped in bacon.
I’m told that when a figure of national significance dies, the staff at VooDoo Doughnuts will make commemorative doughnuts in their memory.
When Carrie Fisher/Princess Leia died, I almost jumped on a plane to Portland. Can you imagine how cute that was? Or the one when Stan Lee died?
This is what they did for Grumpy Cat when he passed.
VooDoo Doughnuts, which is proudly committed to the original Oxford English spelling of doughnut, now has locations in Denver, Austin, Orlando, Hollywood and Eugene, Oregon. Occasionally, I see someone on an airplane or in an airport carrying one of those pink boxes, and I smile. When it comes to doughnuts and a bit of dark magic, you never forget your first.