Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Voodoo in the Doughnut Shop

I posted earlier about the popularity of Voodoo Doughnut in Portland.
The lineups are long and constant. We had much to do and see and none of it involved waiting in line.
But we still wanted to try the doughnuts. We'd seen the pink boxes from the store everywhere.
Fortunately we were cater corner from the shop with a window from our suite looking right over it. Keeping an eye on the line was simple.
Voodoo Doughnut is open 24 hours a day almost every day of the year. One could logically reason out there must be a slow period.
The first morning in Portland I looked out the window at about 6 a.m. and discovered only a few, maybe four, people in line. The lineup didn't get serious until about 9 a.m., but it stayed serious all day.
My friend and I decided whoever awoke in the night would make the trek to the shop. We'd already sorted out what we wanted so the mission would be quick and easy.
I woke up around 1 a.m. peeked out the window and found the line was still about a half-block long.
At 4:30 a.m. I was awake again, looked out the window, and found no line at all. People were about, some even stepped out of the store carrying the pink box of treats, but no waiting.
The front of the hotel was in the opposite direction of the store so it made for a two block walk and a good slice of life. It was still warm, if a bit windy, and really quite pleasant.
Behind me and across the street I saw some homeless people.
Across from me I saw members of the general population out enjoying the morning
A fellow in his twenties popped out of a doorway in front of me and listed to starboard for a few lurching feet before taking refuge in another doorway.
Just before the shop door there's a pedway with picnic tables. One table was filled with young people hunched over the boxes enjoying the contents.
There's tape across the floor at the shop with instructions to wait until you're called. I didn't have to wait long until my 'Doughnuteer,' Colt, pictured here, called me in.
Portland 037
Colt was tickled I wanted his picture and posed for me.

Music blared. I could seen a few younger people behind the racks of doughnuts working away and talking. I am sure they were having fun.
Colt was sorry to tell me that one of the doughnuts I'd ordered, the Voodoo Doll, wasn't ready yet.
I've nothing else to do at that time of day so I asked how long it would be.
Turns out they were just ready as he asked.
Can't ask for much fresher than that.
I took some pictures, got the goods, and made my way back home.

Portland 042
Clockwise from top left: the Diablos Rex, Voodoo Doll, Bacon Maple Bar, Gay Bar. 
They're tasty enough, but different from what we get in Canada.
Here a doughnut is light and fluffy to the point if you held it in the palm of your hand and blew it would probably fly away.
The above were substantial. Fluffy, yes, but had some heft to them.
I'm glad we had them, and I am glad for the experience of going out early in the morning. It was fun.
At no time did I ever feel threatened.
But I must say they are only doughnuts. They've been given some character, they are marketed well, and I can only conclude waiting in line is part of the experience.
I don't mind missing out on that part of it.


Virginia Lee said...

I'm so glad I had brekkie already as I might have tried to eat the picture!

Leah J. Utas said...


Unknown said...

I was sad I missed out on the VOOODOOO when I was there.
So :-)

Leah J. Utas said...

Glad to be of service, Carla. All you missed was the camaraderie(!) of standing in line in the hot sun.

messymimi said...

It reminds me of the Yogi Berra quote about the place being so crowded no one goes there any more. There aren't any donuts that i've had that would be worth such a wait, either.

Leah J. Utas said...

Always loved that quote, Messymimi. Thanks for reminding me.

solarity said...

Doughnuts are a ritual food. Voodoo has that right. I used to go out for doughnuts late at night in Raleigh, North Carolina. One time I was on my way back home with a dozen (which I could easily eat all of myself) when I was patiently, law-abidingly waiting at a red light with no traffic in any direction at two a.m. when a homeless man who was vaguely familiar (I was not far from home) approached my rolled-down window and asked if I could spare him a dollar or two. I told a partial truth: I said I usually didn't take more money with me than I needed to buy doughnuts, and I had none left, and I asked if he'd like a doughnut, and his face lit up. I opened the box and he took one, and I said "Take two" and he said "Thank you, ma'am," just as the light turned green. I've remembered that moment of late night camaraderie for years.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Leah J. Utas said...

Mary Anne, what a wonderful story. Good for you.

David Cranmer said...

I'll take a Diablos Rex! (Hey, how's Reb doing? Am I missing where she is blogging?)

Leah J. Utas said...

Excellent choice, David. Chocolate cake donut, chocolate chips in the middle and a white icing pentagram.

Haven't heard much out of Reb lately save the occasional like on FB. I'll let her know you were asking about her.

the Bag Lady said...

I don't mind a good doughnut on occasion, but probably wouldn't stand in line for one. Glad you found a time when you didn't have to wait!
Love Mary Anne's story about sharing her doughnuts!

the Bag Lady said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bossy Betty said...

I was one of those people who waited in life. I had one coated with Tang. It was Yummy! Glad it all worked out for you!

Leah J. Utas said...

Bag Lady, I agree. The occasional donut is just fine.

Betty, good for you having the experience. Tang? Sounds intriguing.

Hilary said...

Oh that looks like fun.. and so much more worth it than when Krispy Kreme opened their first Canadian store right here in Mississauga. The lineups were constant and went on for blocks. And they were not worth the wait.

I love the creativity of this place. I wondered about the different coloured Fruit Loops on that one doughnut and laughed out loud when read that it was a Gay Bar. Clever and fun.

Leah J. Utas said...

I've often wondered about the lure of Krispy Kreme. Good to know I'm not missing anything.