I’ve already covered how I was able to join my regular Friday night D&D game whilst on the west coast. I didn’t mention that I also scheduled a session of Eglath’s Angels during our Portland trip.
I DM Eglath’s Angels and we record it for a podcast (listen to it here, if you like!) so it required a bit more equipment and setup because the viewers/listening deserve the best!
DMing is no fun
Playing while traveling is much more straightforward, just like playing D&D is easier than DMing. The Dungeon Master has to keep track of lots of things, try and make sure everyone is having fun, and attempt to build a story with a group of people who may or may not want to build the same story. It isn’t easy, though it can be a lot of fun.
It does require more stuff to do on the road. First up, my father-in-law allowed me use of his office, which was very nice indeed. Plus, he’s a musician so he just happened to have a mic stand that I could press into service so I didn’t have to use my crappy stand.
My time in Portland is coming to a close, and I think this will be the last doughnut shop we visit! It would be nice to end on a high note, but I’m just not a fan of Pip’s Orginal Doughnuts (though they get points for using the right spelling).
Pip’s thing is that their doughnuts are tiny and made right as you order them. This means that they’re all the same doughnut base with toppings… and there are only 6 varieties on the menu at any time.
I got 6 doughnuts in my order: Candied Maple Bacon, Raspberry (seasonal), Cinnamon Sugar, and Raw Honey & Sea Salt.
I will say that the candied bacon maple packs a big bacon punch… but not much of a maple punch. The raw honey and sea salt was salty and sweet, as you might expect. I just don’t like the doughnuts themselves, which means I’d say skip the Pips (I didn’t try their chai, which may be great!).
I will say they have a very strong merch game (I have one of these shirts and love it).
Donut World isn’t in Portland, but it is very nearby in Gresham, and was on our way somewhere else… so we stopped by. I enjoy any business that calls itself “Donut World” and then decides, for some inscrutable reason, to house itself in a store that looks like a little red barn. “Donut Farm” or “Donut Barn” both strike me as fine names, but it is a Donut World, and I’m just living in it.
I’m a sucker for a simple, cheap doughnut done right. I bought 6 doughnuts for $7, and they were darn tasty (I only had two, but you know what I mean). I bought a maple bar and a glazed doughnut for myself, as I do. The counterperson misunderstood me and also added a glazed vanilla cream-filled doughnut. I ate that one instead of my usual glazed, and it was so good. The maple bar was very fresh and very tasty.
Donut World isn’t worth a special trip, especially since there are so many other Portland options, but if you find yourself in the vicinity of this funky fake barn, you should stop and pick up a dozen delights.
Blue Star Donuts from those people who like coffee, good design, and fancy-pants doughnuts.
I, as I may have mentioned before, am a simple man. I like straightforward desserts. I find that whenever I encounter a fancy dessert on a menu, I read the description and am enticed until I get to the one thing that takes it too far for me (usually some ingredient I don’t like).
Anyway, I went to Blue Star Donuts today and had two doughnuts and a doughnut hole.
They get demerits right off the bat for not having a maple bar, or any other maple doughnut, on the menu. They do sell boxes of maple glazed doughnut holes, so I bought a box. It was maple-y but since it is pre-packaged, the doughnut itself wasn’t all that great.
The OG Glazed doughnut, on the other hand, was pretty darned tasty. I know I just spent some time saying I like simple things, but the addition of the oraxata gives it a cinnamon-y taste that I quite enjoyed.
My second doughnut was the Cointreau Crème Brûlée. Once I noticed it came with a pipette, I knew I was in trouble. The burnt sugar on the top was great, but sadly this Crème Brûlée doughnut pales in comparison to the Crème Brûlée offering from an east coast doughnut place – Doughnut Plant (if you ever have a chance to have a Doughnut Plant doughnut, have two because they are great). Oh man, the Crème Brûlée doughnut from Doughnut Plant is so good. It may be the best doughnut I’ve ever had. The one from Blue Star wasn’t. It was fine, though.
Blue Star makes a fine doughnut, but man, are they pricey! I guess it costs a lot to have such nice stores and designs. Worth checking out when you’re in Portland, but even better if a friend is paying.
Marisa went to the Hollywood Farmers Market this morning and was kind enough to make a doughnut stop for me.
Doe Donuts is just a crueler’s throw away from the farmers market. On the surface, this doughnut shop isn’t in the Scott McNulty doughnut sweet spot for two reasons:
Overly fancy flavors.
Now, vegan options are getting better and better these days. We even have a pretty good vegan doughnut place in Philadelphia. However, it has been my experience that an excellent vegan doughnut and a good doughnut aren’t the same things.
I got a maple twist (which I like the idea of more than a bar, to be honest) and their plain glazed option, which isn’t plain at all. It is Salted Vanilla Bean (savory doughnuts are one of their things).
Judging it as a regular doughnut, the twist was pretty disappointing. It tasted like vaguely sweet, kinda mapley bread. Do not recommend.
The salted vanilla bean was pretty tasty and fantastic, judged as a vegan doughnut. It did finish a little saltier than I would have liked, but I’d totally eat one again.
If you’re a vegan, you should get some Doe Donuts. If you’re eating with a vegan, again, Doe Donuts is worth your time. Just looking for a doughnut? There are better options out there.
I play a fair amount of D&D for business and pleasure (the “business D&D” is also fun, to be fair). Since we’re traveling I didn’t want to have to cancel all my D&Ding, so I brought some equipment along.
I’ve been meeting with this group (or a configuration of this group) for almost 18 years, and thanks to Zoom we survived the pandemic! In fact, we’re still playing via Zoom which makes playing from the West Coast much easier.
I’ll do another post about all the stuff I brought for the “fancier” podcast version of this travel D&D setup, but the one that isn’t recorded is much simpler:
The time has come for me to visit this fan favorite (to be clear, I’ve been here several times before… but I went again today).
I should say that I was expecting to be unimpressed by their offerings. Voodoo’s whole thing is the experience and the wackiness, which I like, but I like a very good doughnut more.
I ordered a Maple Cream and a Glazed (and a few doughnuts for other people):
Here’s the shocker: the maple cream was really good. So good, I ate the whole thing before taking a handheld pic. Oops! It was a little too sweet, but I can forgive it that. I had thought that it would be filled with maple cream, which probably would have been too much of a good thing. It is, however, filled with Bavarian cream which is the right choice.
The glazed doughnut, on the other hand, was very disappointing. I ate the whole thing so it couldn’t have been that bad… but it was sort of bland and unmemorable.
It certainly didn’t live up to Voodoo’s branding. I mean, this guy wouldn’t condone bland doughnuts:
My verdict on Voodoo remains the same: they are pretty good but certainly not worth waiting more than 5 minutes for.
I am a man who loves loud shirts and Star Trek. I’m also a man who owns more Star Trek t-shirts than is entirely reasonable.
Keeping both of those things in mind, I really don’t know who these Star Trek shirts from Hubcloset are for. Facebook seems to think they are for me, which on the surface makes sense. In practice, cheap button downs with bad graphics aren’t my bag (though I do sort of like the one in the lower left, not enough to wear it or buy it though).