Insane as it sounds that fried circles of dough are now "in fashion," the Mercury is in no position to argue with trends. So in celebration of this fabulous new fad diet of saturated fat and carbs, we've decided to find out which donut is really the best. Is it Krispy? Is it our local pals Voodoo? Is it a wild card? We'll let our experts decide.
First, let's meet our panel of experts:
h Cheryl, owner and pastry chef for Pix Patisserie.
h Scott, owner of La Buca Italian Restaurants, lover of food.
h Will, donut fetishist. Seriously.
h Geoff, hard partier, experienced donut eater. Hungover.
h Wendy, KATU receptionist, member of the Krispy Krème cult.
As you can see, there is no group of people on the planet more qualified to rate the taste, texture, finish, and appearance of Portland's donuts. In order to accurately judge our first three categories (again: taste, texture, finish, aka "aftertaste"), we required that our experts be blindfolded. Afterwards they were allowed to view the donut in order to decide how well said donut would stand out in a crowd. From each of the six Portland donut shops we chose for our study, we picked a plain donut and a fancy donut (for each shop, the fancy donut was different).
In each of the four categories, participants scored the donuts on a scale of 1-10. And we will provide you with the averages for each category. (We could list all the numbers, but after an hour of studying them, you'd probably go out and brutally murder a kitten. I'm saying this because the Mercury's number cruncher, Aaron Beam, after many hours of calculations, actually went out and brutally murdered a kitten.)
Alright AlreadyÉ THE RESULTS!
Annie's Donut Shop, 3449 NE 72nd, 284-2752: Adorable shop with lots of windows. Great donut selection. Friendly service.
Fancy (Applesauce Donut): 5.6/10
No Name Donuts, SE 59th & Burnside, no phone: Not adorable shop, but good donuts. Serves pizza.
Fancy (buttermilk bar): 5.8/10
Sesame Donuts, 6990 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, 297-8175: Home of the delicious sesame seed-coated donut, which for some reason scared the crap out of our judges.
Fancy (sesame coated): 4.1/10
Voodoo, 22 SW 3rd, 241-4704: Portland's hippest donut shop. Conducts weddings, creates donut birthday cakes.
Fancy (Strawberry Quik donut, ewwww!): 5.1/10
Winchell's, 504 NE 102nd, 253-4439: Donut chain that was here first!!
Fancy (chocolate frosted): 5.4/10
Krispy Kreme, 9950 SE 82nd, 774-3300: America's favorite donut, or so say the long lines of panting donut worshippers.
Fancy (chocoate frosted, crème filled): 5/10
From our results, we can glean a few things. One: despite their insistence to the contrary, our experts don't seem to like donuts very much. Two: Krispy Kreme does have the best-tasting plain donut (big frickin' whoop). Three, the sparsely decorated No Name donuts is the crowd favorite with the most favored fancy donut, the buttermilk bar. So "Yay for No Name" and thanks to our judges. And hey, as we've learned, one donut isn't that different from another--so you might as well choose your favorite donut spot by who's got the best coffee.