“Good things come in pink boxes” boasts the pink neon sign atop City Walk’s Voodoo Doughnuts. Inside the four pink walls, as I admired the revolving case of donuts in a sugar- induced trance, I realized a sign had never read so true.
The inside of the building is modeled after a New Orleans bakery with pink accents galore. At the forefront of the display is their ironic merchandise from underwear to mugs. The walls are strewn with an eccentric mix of custom artwork including a mural and a stained glass window. Opposite the bakery, there is a bar which serves local favorite Stumptown coffee from an enviously pink espresso machine.
As an honorary member of the Addams family and Halloween extraordinaire, I knew that their signature Voodoo Doll-shaped jelly doughnut would be love at first bite. But I was pleasantly surprised that for the month of October they swapped the usual brown frosting for a Frankenstein-esque green one, added stitches, a bright red mouth, and a pretzel stick stake through the heart. The true element of greatness laid behind the stake, to the voodoo doll’s jelly-filled innards. The tartness of the jelly was a refreshing offset to the frosting and not nearly as messy as I feared.
Equally enticing, I couldn’t resist the cleverly titled ‘Oh captain, My captain’, a donut topped with vanilla frosting and Captain Crunch. Despite its simplicity, the saltiness of the Captain Crunch was a welcome addition to the overpowering sweetness of the frosting. More importantly, the cereal allowed me to justify eating one for breakfast the next morning.
Another notable element is Voodoo’s selection of vegan doughnuts. “Dirt”, a doughnut with vanilla frosting and oreos, was generic and forgettable. “Diablos Rex” was a chocolate cake based doughnut with a pentagram etched in vanilla icing and chocolate chips on top. It was the trifecta of coolness: vegan, ironic, and exuding slightly sinister vibes.
Despite its promisingly pink interior, its City Walk location is a disappointment. The iconic strip was uncomfortably empty on a balmy Saturday afternoon. Only a few tourist groups decked out in matching neon shirts and disgruntled parents with overeager children plagued the sidewalks. This socially desolate scene makes the location all the more puzzling, since its target audience seems to be tattooed hipsters and Instagram foodies (both of which I aspire to be). Voodoo’s Portland-based roots are more closely in line with those of LA and would be better tailored to a spot on Melrose or in the midst of downtown.
Voodoo is at its best when it links unconventional flavors and ingredients with a wry sense of humor to create an original round food for every mood. The biggest stake in the heart is the fact that it is local bait for a tourist trap. A-