When picking where I want to travel to next, I always make sure to look up “donut shops near” or “bakeries near” wherever it is I’m going because ya girl has GOT to make sure she swipes some goodies, either on the way to or at her destination. This time around, I was hitting up Portland. I wanted to celebrate graduating college because that’s an accomplishment, right? What better way than to fly out to Oregon for six days and eat as much food as possible?! Also cliché as this is, I have always wanted to go to Portland because I am obsessed with the tv show Portlandia and imagined that’s what Portland was like. Now that we have established I’m a wannabe hipster (not really) millennial that bases real-life off of things she sees on her favorite tv shows, let’s move on shall we?
So, off Jad and I go, to Portland, Oregon! We camped for 3 days in Mount Hood National Park (about an hour and a half outside of the city) and had an incredible time and saw some beautiful sights! We even booked a last-minute white water rafting trip right across the border into Washington because we are spontaneous and fun! Yeah! Side note: this was Jad’s first time camping and I think I can speak for him here and say he had a great time, other than he didn’t know how to lace up his hiking boots and almost broke his ankle hiking due to his improperly laced boots. Sorry J, now the entire world knows you don’t know how to tie your shoes. Oh, and that you’re a klutz. Love you! Moving on. Camping was great, but we were smelly and in need of showers because baby wipes just were not cutting it, so we drove into Portland and arrived at our Airbnb. It was right around the corner from the historic Mississippi Avenue known for its art, music, and FOOD!!! If you ever find yourself in Portland, definitely check it out because there’s a lot to eat (and see) on just that one stretch of road.
Side note #2: If you’re looking for the most delicious food you’ll ever have in your life, check out Miss Delta. Hands down, best brunch I’ve ever had and overall, some of the best food I’ve had as well. Every bite was LITERALLY packed with flavor. Their house smoked brisket and chicken and waffles were to die for. This place is no joke either on their portion sizes. You get every penny’s worth here. 10/10 for Miss Delta! (click here to see their menus!)
Me being me, I had already found at least 3 different donut shops I wanted to try out, one of which was VooDoo Donuts (good, but overrated in my opinion). However, this post is not about VooDoo Donuts as you can infer by the title of this post. It’s about Blue Star Donuts + Coffee because LET. ME. TELL. YOU. BOUT. THESE. NUTS. After a nice, full breakfast which we walked off in the awful heat and humidity, I was craving some tasty noms, so we found our way back to Mississippi Avenue and strolled into Blue Star. It was tucked inside a cute little cove next to a few local shops, and outside was some seating under umbrellas as well as benches in the sun (ya’ know, just in case we wanted to work up a nice sweat while we ate). The bakery was charming and inviting in a simply modern way. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was this:
Let me just tell you, these were some gourmet donuts. I mean, come on, they use a classic brioche recipe originating from southern France! And the ingredients? After all, this was Portland so I should have expected nothing less than the best from them. It took me about 15 minutes to decide what I wanted. Jad and I each ordered one donut because we wanted to save room for the ice cream that was literally 3 doors down from where we were. I chose the Passion Fruit Cocoa Nib with a dash of cayenne pepper, and J went with the Almond Chocolate Ganache. I hadn’t been in the mood for chocolate and I also really enjoy it when bakeries go out on a limb and try different things. The cayenne pepper was something I had never seen before so you KNOW I had to try it. Barely able to contain my excitement, I snapped a mediocre picture of my tiny hand trying to hold both donuts. I failed miserably, so apologies for the lackluster donut pic, y’all.
I am going to tell you all right now that if you EVER find yourselves in Portland, Oregon, you better hightail your hinny to the nearest Blue Star Donuts and order yourself a Passion Fruit Cocoa Nib with cayenne pepper. If they no longer serve it, well, just take my word for it when I say this was one of the tastiest donuts I’ve had thus far and here’s why:
#1. The recipe was almost perfect. The dough was soft and moist, giving it a velvety feel as it hit the tongue. It pulled apart wonderfully and I couldn’t tell whether it was a brand new batch fresh out the oven, or if the donuts had been sitting for a while.
#2. The passion fruit glaze was just right. A very light ‘hardened’, for lack of a better word, outside with a cloud-like softness inside. The taste of the passionfruit wasn’t overpowering either, so I got to enjoy the actual taste of the dough as well as its fruity glaze.
#3. The cayenne pepper. Wowie kapowie was that a fantastic addition to this lovely little devil! When I think cayenne, I think of, “Oh sh**, I’m about to sweat my face off” (I don’t do well with spicy foods). The cayenne turned out to be the perfect complement to the passionfruit and really saved this donut from being overly sweet. It didn’t offer a spicy kick, but rather gave it a slight savory edge.
The Almond Chocolate Ganache Jad was munching on was absolutely delicious as well. The chocolate was darker, a French chocolate I believe, and definitely tasted as though I had just eaten a fifty dollar bill (I imagine fifty dollar bills tasting like French chocolate). However, I was so in love with the passion fruit that the ganache just couldn’t compete.
The verdict: although these donuts were a little on the pricier side in my opinion,–mainly due to the ingredients used–they were well worth the price. The Passion Fruit Cocoa Nip with cayenne took the first place trophy for overall originality and deliciousness. If I could order a half-dozen of those suckers from across the country, I would in a heartbeat.
Donut score: 9.7/10
Also! In case you wanted to know about the ice cream, it was outstanding! We went to Ruby Jewel Scoops just three doors down from the donut shop. I ordered the vegan coconut chocolate chip and absolutely LOVED it! For anyone wondering, I’m not a vegan but was for some years in the past. I was never a fan of the dairy-free ice cream because I didn’t like the taste of it. Ruby Jewels, however, has their vegan recipe down to a science so the ice cream actually tastes like it’s made with real dairy. They absolutely nailed the coconut flavor, and best part is that it’s right down the street from Miss Delta as well!