Playing tourist in Portland: Waiting at Voodoo Doughnuts

It’s taken a few months to mull this one over. Since then, this has happened, the re-opening of the newly expanded, original VooDoo Doughnuts (and whatever those leisurely, sugar-dusted picnic tables are about):

Just your typical Sunday morning wait. Click this for the current report.

Let’s non-scientifically estimate the above line around 30-45 minutes. It loops around a bit inside, as well.

I’ve joked many times about my desire for a locals only window. I give up.

I try and pretend that vegan doughnuts don’t exist, think about my spontaneous annual Flavourspot visit, and cross my fingers for a crispy waffle sandwich.

I remember Acme, calm down a wee bit, and then I forget those soft rolls exist for another eleven months.

It’s time to come to terms with these memories.

The following tale is true.

I once played tourist and waited in line for 1 hour and 10 minutes at Voodoo Too, and this is my story.

I’m not crazy, my houseguests were doing the tourist thing. It was their last day. We’ve all been there.

The entire visit was heartwarming and surreal – I had friends in town (plus an s.o.) from my hometown (technically one moved to Queens, but still!) of Islip, NY! It was a wild nine day period of polishing off my buried accent.

It’s almost amusing that one friend and I nonchalantly stopped by VooDoo Too for breakfast, waited in line for 5 minutes, received word that said line would last for over an hour, and wandered over to Grendel’s and Sizzle Pie instead.  I was already exhausted by 10am, thanks to our last-night-in-town karaoke bonanza the evening prior.

Being tourists (of the friendly omnivore variety) on their final day in Portland, they decided to spend the hours before their red eye back east eating. A lot. I’m talking food carts, totchos, beer, coffee, breakfast pizza, elephant ear and donuts. Being of the food blogger variety, I’ve found myself in similar modes on my travels, so I get.  I was naturally up for the photography, though my stomach didn’t catch up until hours later, back home, with my own doughnut.

Back to our big day.

10:30am

Jess: Um, let’s see how quickly this moves.

Friend: Look at these idiots!

These are what you call doughnut tourists.

10:35am

Jess: So, the Voodoo truck [parked outside] is selling doughtnuts by the dozen. No vegan donuts, but you’re not vegan so you don’t care, and they’re pretty much what you’re going to buy and it has NO LINE.

Friend: Do you want to carry around my box all day? Let’s come back later!

I think they're renting parking lot space to a used furniture depot.

10:40am

We leave the line in desperate need of coffee and sustenance, casting evil eyes at the tourists, mainly couples (who aren’t smiling – what a fun line! what a delayed sugar rush!), slowly carrying out their own pink boxes.

10:41am We notice the following on our way out…

I see someone else is lacking patience.

11:15am

Jess: Well, breakfast pizza is just as cool as a donut and will probably cure my hangover. I know, I know, you’re from New York, but I think you’ll like this.

Fast forward to Friend excitedly recapping the trip on the phone later in the day: “In Portland, they eat breakfast pizza!!!!!!!!”

(Who doesn’t!?)

TGI Pizza

My breakfast! I even picked off the dreaded c-herb.

12:10pm Cart contemplation downtown. Friend is still smiling in photographs.

The panda is wise: Why wait in line when you can have a Dutch taco?

12:40pm We peruse the Saturday Market. I remind myself that it is, in fact, Sunday.

1:30pm 

Friend: Shouldn’t I be eating something? It’s been an entire hour.

Jess: You’re probably right. I’m worried about your blood sugar.

My friend gets acquainted with Oregon’s signature fried dough tried, the elephant ear. Vegan tip: Simply request your ear without butter at this Saturday Market stand – with cinnamon sugar or local marionberry jam – and you’re in the clear. Get ready to spend the remainder of the day walking. Maybe after a nap.

It's almost a smile!

"Portland! Even your playgrounds have farmers markets!" - my dear friend's cute observation

Next up, it was time to bear witness. My houseguests were married at the 24 Hour Church  of Elvis walk-up gallery. They didn’t sell me their wedding photos, so I’ll leave them private, but let me show this much wonder:

We pressed many, many buttons.

I did sneak this one:

Cue Celine Dion.

Afterwards, it was time to celebrate and cross the river for further cart consumption. We opted for a little Cartopia, daylight style: Potato Champion! Whiffies. Crepes. Enough said.

Chipotle Vegenaise break. My allergic-to-eggs friend was saddened by her oddly crispy vegan crepe.

Next up: honeybuckets

3:30pm

Eventually, there was one big item left on our Portland to-do list, and it just happened to be more food in big pink boxes. Once again, I suggest the mixed dozens from the VooDoo truck outside. Once again, this takes the magic away.

4:06pm

After roughly waiting roughly 35 minutes on an even-longer line outside, and catching up on the past decade, we made it into Voodoo Too:

Patience, patience.

4:11pm

We could finally not just smell, but SEE doughnuts:

Taking in the sights...

4:21pm

My friends contemplate what non-edibles they're going to take home.

If people were sitting at these tables, we'd be glaring at them.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what I came for.

To think, they're half-smiling under there.

4:50pm My friend’s new friend. We await our bus back home.

Friend:  If anyone in New York complains about these doughnuts, I will hurt them.

Jess: I miss you already.

VooDoo Tales on Get Sconed!

10:20pm

And then it was me and my doughnut, and my houseguests were on a red eye to JFK.

The good news? As per recent observations and the re-opening of the larger original location, it appears that the line at VooDoo Too has calmed down. A bit.

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8 thoughts on “Playing tourist in Portland: Waiting at Voodoo Doughnuts

  1. I just played tourist in Portland this June by hitting up Voodoo and food carts. You just have to own your status and purpose as a tourist and do it! The line at the new and bigger Voodoo downtown wasn’t quite that bad when I was there, but I went around 3pm. From only the two nights I was there, I can tell that Portland is a great town, and a lot of what I know about the food scene comes from reading your blog. I made sure to pick up Soy Curls! We only managed to do some bars (forgot their names), Pine State Biscuits, and Vita Café, in addition to the carts and doughnuts. Great town you have there!

  2. Oooh, I can’t imagine what the line is gonna look like with all the vegans in town this weekend! But I’ll wait….I’d wait for hours for a Voodoo Donut. I don’t mind being a silly tourist. I once waited for nearly 40 min for Chipotle when the first (and only) Chipotle opened in Memphis a few months ago. Donuts are way better than burritos.

  3. Pingback: Portland dining adventures

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