Before I start this post, I should caution the reader that it reflects the opinion of this writer and not the opinion of every Portlandian. So if you live in Portland and have strong opinions about donuts, please leave a comment. I want to know all about the donuts you crave! Now, back to our regularly scheduled blog post:
When my family and I moved to Portland from NYC in 1999, people from back east knew it rained in Portland, but that was all they knew. People didn’t talk about its restaurants or food carts because it had yet to become the food town it is today, and no one considered it a destination for donuts. That changed.
In 2002, Voodoo Donuts hit the scene, and before we knew it, tourists came flocking to Old Town Portland to stand in long lines. To be honest, I’m not a Voodoo fan. I don’t love the texture of their donuts, and they’re too sweet for my palate. But there are many people who disagree with me. I suppose folks are drawn to their toppings: Oreos, Fruit Loops, Captain Crunch, and the ever popular Bacon Maple Glaze. Whatever the reason, Voodoo Donuts now has six locations, including one in Taiwan. Back in Portland, you can’t go to Third Avenue or the PDX Airport without seeing giddy tourists carrying the iconic pink box. The airport even sells Voodoo Donut T-shirts and Rogue Brewery’s Voodoo Donut beers so tourists can get their fix before leaving the City of Roses.
Ten years after Voodoo opened its doors, Micah Camden and Katie Poppe, introduced the brioche donut to Portland, and there was much rejoicing. You won’t see Blue Star Donut memorabilia at the airport, but on National Donut Day, June 5, 2015, Blue Star Donuts was crowned the victor in the Donut Deathmatch. And this Portland resident couldn’t agree more. Blue Star donuts are well worth the occasional detour from my usual gluten-reduced diet.
Their donuts are light, flavorful, and not too sweet. To make them even more tempting, they have a slew of creative, exciting varieties. My favorites include the Orange Olive Oil Cake and the Blueberry Bourbon and Basil donut. There are few things that make me happier than bourbon. But if you’re willing to forgo whiskey for filling packed with flavor, then you can try one of my husband’s favorites, the Marionberry Pepper Jam with Peanut Butter Powder donut. Talk about PB&J taken to the next level!
Blue Star opened their first shop on Washington Street in downtown Portland, and now has four Portland locations and one in Tokyo, Japan. On October 21, 2015 they will open a store in L.A, and to celebrate it’s grand opening, they’ll give out free donuts next Monday. That’s right, free donuts! Of course that would mean leaving Portland to get them, so never mind. I’m happy where I am.