SUGAR in Portland: Salt & Straw and Voodoo Doughnut


SUGAR!

Yes, Portland has an amazing landscape, beautiful architecture, and a hip, cool vibe about it… but today I’m focusing on the sugar. Why? Um, hello…. SUGAR. Here are a couple of fabulous sugar finds that my new husband Kenny and I found while on our honeymoon in Portland, Oregon last week. PLUS… today marks the second anniversary of SockmonkeysKitchen.com!

When in Portland, eat sugar like the locals!
When in Portland, eat sugar like the locals!

 

Salt & Straw
Portland Salt & Straw 4

This is an outstanding representation of what ice cream really should be. A sign inside reads: Our ice cream is handmade in small batches using only all natural dairy with the best, local, organic and sustainable ingredients Oregon has to offer, as well as imported flavors from small hand-picked farms from around the world!
With a whopping 17% butterfat in it, you’re getting the cream of the crop. 😉 We visited the NW 23rd location twice, and I was pretty sad that we didn’t go more. The line wrapped around the building, so I knew it was going to be good. Once we’d gotten inside, the servers were all walking out from behind the large counter to give samples. Mind you, these are not the tiny plastic “only one per person” spoonfuls that I’m used to. Noooo…. As many as you’d like, each on a large silver spoon. “Just bring the spoons back when you’re done and we’ll wash ‘em” the polite girl said to me. Holy cow. Alrighty then.

Salt & Straw's employees are so incredibly friendly!
Salt & Straw’s employees are so incredibly friendly!

I tried a few, and each were beautifully flavored and wonderfully paired. I loved that there wasn’t a ton of sweetness, and some flavors were very savory. Their classic flavors range from the Almond Brittle with Salted Ganache, to the Arbequina Olive Oil, to the Coconut with Petunia’s salted Caramel Bars….. and the Portland Farmer’s Market Series boasted flavors such as Tomato Water Olive Oil, Carrot Watermelon and the daring Bone Marrow & Bourbon Smoked Cherry. The Pear with Blue Cheese, Freckled Woodblock Chocolate, and Cinnamon Snickerdoodle were just a few that we tried. The strangest combo was the Bunk Hawaiian which besides pineapple (and I think coconut) had pork jelly belly in it. I let Ken taste that one on his own. 😉
Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper on the left.... and Green Fennel & Maple on the right. Heaven!

Look at the size of those fresh strawberry pieces!
Look at the size of those fresh strawberry pieces!

On the first day, I settled on the outrageously delectable Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper while Ken feasted on the refreshing Green Fennel & Maple. On the second day, I gobbled up the intensely flavored Honey Lavender on the other and Ken had the deliciously deep Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon.

Ken snapped this of me while I was eating my locally sourced honey lavender ice cream!
Kenny snapped this of me while I was eating my locally sourced honey lavender ice cream!

VOODOO Doughnut
VooDoo Doughnut 1

You KNEW I had to visit it, didn’t you? It seems everyone’s seen them on TV, and now I know why. At first I expected a kitschy place (check) that had a line out the door (check again). But then we tasted them. Oh MY. As much as I enjoy my local Donutman (which has also been featured on many TV shows), it cannot hold a candle to the flavors and wackiness that is VoodooVooDoo Doughnut 8 VooDoo Doughnut 7 VooDoo Doughnut 6 VooDoo Doughnut 5Doughnuts are topped with everything from Cap’n Crunch, Crumbled Oreos, Froot Loops, and bacon. Yes, I said bacon. It’s on the maple bar. As we stood in line, we noticed a family with three young kids. The little girl, maybe 6 or so, was chomping down on a triple chocolate doughnut (chocolate with chocolate frosting and what appeared to be Coco Puffs on top)… and she was washing it down with a can of Dr. Pepper. I was fearing for the parents’ sanity after that sank in. heh heh.
But hey, it’s an experience not to be forgotten. My friend Jen told me that they even perform weddings right in the middle of the store. Now that would have been cool.
We decided on a Mango Tango doughnut which had a fairly thick and not too sweet mango jam filling, topped with a cream cheese frosting….and then dipped in Tang. Yes, the drink of American Astronauts. I didn’t even know they made that stuff anymore! It was REALLY tasty!

Mango Tango. Oh yes!
Mango Tango. Oh yes!

We also HAD to get the little voodoo doll guy. I mean, come on….we’re at Voodoo Doughnut. This little unfortunate donut is glazed in chocolate, has a face that reminded us of Mr. Bill (oh nooooooooo!), and a thick raspberry filling. To finish off the look, he’s got a pretzel pin in him. Sorry little doll-guy….you were too tempting NOT to eat. Heh heh….

By the way, Rogue makes a beer for this guy - it's got flavor hints of chocolate, raspberry, and pretzel. Yes I've tried it... and yes, it was good!
By the way, Rogue makes a beer (in a pink bottle) for this guy – it’s got flavor hints of chocolate, raspberry, and pretzel. Yes I’ve tried it… and yes, it was good!

All in all, these two places were worlds apart, but were both very hip and cool in their own right. Portland Rocks.
Wait till I tell you more!

Until next week, my friends!
Question for you: what delectable SUGAR have YOU had this week? I want to hear about it!

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