Over the summer I went to Portland. At that point in my life I really couldn’t have cared less about doughnuts. It was a kind of food that I never really even thought about. I had heard about Vodoo Doughnuts but I didn’t add it to my mental “must go” list. That all changed when my friend came to pick me up and take me to Washington. She really wanted to go to voodoo before we left town, and so we went to the one downtown. They had a line around the block in the middle of the afternoon and I couldn’t believe it. We went to the second location and found no line and a whole assortment of vegan doughnuts for me. It was one of those moments where your life changes forever and you know it is never going to be the same again.
They had every kind of doughnut I have ever seen and they were all vegan! They even had voodoo doll shaped doughnuts that came with a little pretzel to stab him with. I had a chocolate covered cream filled doughnut and it brought me right back to Mel-O-Cream Doughnuts which is the only place I ever had doughnuts as a kid. They had these little tiny trays for your doughnut and it was always a very special treat. In high school we would go there sometimes at 4 in the morning when they just opened for a late night snack. They were glorious, the perfect example of a fresh, sugary, comforting doughnut. I realized that after I left Springfield doughnuts weren’t special anymore; good but not something to be sought out. I think I blocked them out. The voodoo doughnut transported me back to another time and I didn’t want it to end.
When I got back to Austin after my experience I saw the prominently marked “Vegan Doughnuts” staring at me while I waited in the taco line at Whole Foods. I knew they wouldn’t be as good as voodoo but every time I went back, there they were taunting me. I finally tried one expecting something like Dunkin Donuts or a Krispey Kreme. These doughnuts can’t even began to compete on even that level. It isn’t even as good as one of those doughnut that you get at the gas station that is wrapped in a plastic wrapper and has been on the shelf for 2 years. In a word, disappointing. If they weren’t labeled doughnut I never would have guessed from taste that that is what they were. I think Melisser described it best in a recent post on the Urban Housewife when she wrote that they reminded her of a dinner roll. The worst part about it is that I imagine all sorts of people trying this doughnut because Whole Foods is a really popular place and thinking that this is the best vegans can do. I imagine someone thinking “huh Vegan doughnut, sounds crazy but I will give it a try. good god, I was right that vegan stuff is always gross”. Or that young vegan kid, out with his friends for the first time downtown. They decide to go for doughnuts and he tells them they should go to Whole Foods because he can eat the doughnuts there. Those kids would probably make fun of him for the rest of his life. Maybe he would even get beat up. Is that what you want Whole Foods? To be responsible for anti-vegan violence? This is not the best veganism can be!
Thank God that sitting right next to those doughnuts is the true love of my life, the breakfast taco. I promise I will never stray from you again.I did see a new doughnut cart, though, on Lamar, I am holding out hope that I will have vegan doughnuts again!