Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Travels to the Pacific Northwest, Part 2: Portland

After a brilliant couple of days in the Emerald City, Mrs. Rosewater and I caught a choo-choo train (barely) to the outpost of fugitives and refugees, Portland. Portland is truly one of my favorite cities, if for no other reason than it is home to the The Temple: The greatest book store in the entire world, a site of holy pilgrimage for bibliophiles the world over, Powell's Books. The main location in downtown Portland houses four stories of books covering an entire city block of literature-worshiping goodness, with specialized satellite locations spread throughout the city. One of these locations, nestled in the hip Hawthorn District, specializes in Home and Garden and Cooking books. It is here that I stumbled upon a used first-edition copy of Jaques Pepin's "La Technique". (I know, you were starting to wonder what exactly this babble about me geeking out over a bookstore has to do with food. Maybe you thought you were on the wrong blog?)

Portland seems to be the land of a million brew pubs. Like Starbucks in San Francisco, there seems to be at least one in every neighborhood. Not that this is a bad thing, especially because they all seem to craft their own unique, outstanding brews. One of these, just outside Portland in Troutdale, is the Powerhouse Pub & Theatre at the Edgefield. Now, Edgefield has an interesting past: Originally built as a poor farm, it was converted into a nursing home / sanitarium in the 1960's, and only recently converted into a hotel with restaurants, a brew pub, and an outdoor theatre. After sampling the fare at the brew pub (I recommend the fish and chips), we walked the perfectly manicured grounds, checked out the 32-hole pitch and putt golf course, and even a unique sculpture of Grateful Dead legend, Jerry Garcia.

Edgefield was a pretty cool place, and on another trip it might just be worth a stay at the hotel or at least a place to catch a show. But our true culinary destination was not a place that serves beer, or even dinner.

Ever since we saw an episode of "No Reservations" with Anthony Bourdain in the Pacific Northwest, I have been itching to visit the rogue bakers at Voodoo Doughnut. These outcast pastry makers create such madness as the Triple Chocolate Penetration, a chocolate doughnut with chocolate frosting and cocoa-puffs, the Voodoo Doughnut, a voodoo-doll shaped doughnut, complete with spike through the heart, and what is quite possibly the most addicting pastry in the universe, the Bacon Maple Bar. Yes, you read that right.

I won't say this doughnut changed my life, but... no, it actually changed my life. There are insufficient words to describe what this doughnut tastes like. You must try this doughnut at least once in your life. It was just so good that I needed, not just wanted, another one. Once you get the taste, you will never be the same. Ever.

Pictured with my new favorite food group are other Voodoo Doughnut creations such as the banana fritter with peanut butter and Chocolate, a cream-filled with chocolate frosting, and a crushed Oreo cookie doughnut.

Never underestimate the power of bacon.

Thanks to Mark, Kelli, and Mason for showing us such wonderful hospitality and a fantastic time in Portland. We can't wait to come back!


erin said...

I have no words, which is a stretch cuz I always have words. Reading about that bacon donut left me speechless. I am SO intrigued! If we ever get up there, we will have to try it!!

Mr. Rosewater said...

I know, right? It's like something you should be afraid of, but are drawn to it anyway, no matter how hard you try to resist.
There are insufficient words to describe just how good this doughnut is.

If reading about it caused that reaction, just imagine what tasting it would cause.

HoneyB said...

Maybe I'll have to make the maple bacon bar! I'll surely never make it to Voodo Donut. Maybe. Looks so good, and I'm so hungry from looking at food! Or at least I think I am!