What's with Portland and Donuts?

by - 4:53 PM

When you think about Portland, there's always that instantaneous connection between the bridge city and their love of donuts. Especially those that come in a pastry pink box and have pretzels sticking out of them... you know what I'm talking about, Voodoo

It's one of those touristy attractions that is included in every "what makes Portland weird" round-up that exists out there, so of course we had to try it. Because why not? 

Now I confess, I'm not a sweet-tooth fanatic so maybe I'm missing something here - but these are just donuts? Albeit cutely decorated and cleverly packaged donuts that do a good job of selling a story with a catchy name, but waiting in lines all hours of the day & night for one of these? I'm not sure I get it. 

At least I appreciate their extreme efficiency (this is one well-oiled machine) and their reasonable price given their tourist-y fame. 

Ask any Portlandier and they'll tell you, "pshaw - leave those for the tourists - our real donuts are made with brioche!" 

So on Day #2 we switched things up a bit and went for the "real" Portland donut - Blue Star. They advertise freshly made donuts daily with a classic brioche recipe that originated in the south of France, concocted out of rich and decadent ingredients that are sure to bring a smile to your face. 

Having spent the previous day waiting in line, I made sure to get up early and head over right when they opened. But I guess lines and donuts go hand in hand because this place was also packed! 

30 minutes later I left with a happy little box of delicious sounding, yet much more pricy freshly baked pastries. I think they all hovered around $3-$4 a pop... 

While their insta-feed was full of tons of non-featured flavors, I think I did a good job of snagging some of the better ones. First up was a hard apple cider fritter with tons of nooks and crannies. A rich and dense donut but had hints of fresh fruit and flavor! Then a trio of fruit forward donuts - passion fruit & cocoa nibs, blueberry basil & bourbon, and finally raspberry - just because I saw them being fresh dipped and they looked SO good. 

While the donuts are a lovely texture with a nice spring and rich flavor - what really makes these sing are their frostings! They are vibrant, and rich, and luxurious, and amazing! I was so full from taste testing that I couldn't even finish them - but I did lick off all the frosting because it was that good. Plus side is - this franchise is apparently coming to LA! So yay!

So yes Portland - you did win me over with some pretty good donuts... but I still have to ask, what's with the love?

Voodoo Donuts
22 Southwest 3rd Ave.

Blue Star Donuts
1237 SW Washington St.

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