Portland, Oregon. A city most vegans only dream about. Where nutritional yeast is sprinkled liberally on everything, (even sushi), where seitan hot wings and vegan ranch adorn the menu of most pubs and bars, and where vegan doughnuts can be found 24-hours a day, and melt in your mouth like some magical spell.
It is here we set the stage for the second annual Vida Vegan Con, Vegan Lifestyle and Blogger conference. A place where vegans from around the globe come to meet, greet, and devour all the fabulous vegan food the city of Portland has to offer. Oh, and attend some pretty kick @$$ classes and seminars, too! When the announcement was made that the 2013 conference was going to be held in May, rather than the end of August, I jumped at the change to purchase my ticket. I would be traveling alone, and I had never met a single person going to the event (not in real life, anyway), but I was so thrilled to see the conference being held at a time that wasn't my black-out time at work, that I jumped at the chance to go this year. So, if the powers that be read this, here is one enthusiastic blogger's vote to NOT have the next conference during the last week of August!
Now, because it takes almost an entire day to fly to Portland from the East Coast, I decided to give myself an extra day on either end of the conference. I flew in to LAX on Wednesday, and got to Portland late Wednesday night. I wanted to have the better part of Thursday free to go explore the sites of the city. I was sad to see it was pouring rain when I landed, but that did not get me down. Armed with my trusty iPhone app, PDX Bus, I went from train, to bus, to motel in about 50 minutes, where I promptly crashed after a long day of travel.
Day 1.Thursday morning, I awoke with doughnuts on my mind. It was still raining, so I hopped on the bus, which brought me about a block away from Voodoo Doughnuts!
Now it's been a while since I've even had a doughnut, so I was eagerly anticipating this monumentus occasion! There was a minimal line (which I hear, is RARE). The lines at Voodoo Doughnut have been known the snake right out the door, and there were ropes where customers should form a line just to prove it.
I entered and was blown away by the atmosphere and decor, and eclectic explosion of crazy pink fun!
So, if a vegan gal is to choose only ONE of all the fabulous vegan doughnuts on the "This Level is All Vegan" display, I would go head-first, balls to the walls with this glorious item below.
Behold, The Dirty Old Bastard:
This is a raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreos, and peanut butter. (Whoa!) I must say, I have never in my LIFE tasted any sort of vegan baked good that even compared the this. The doughnut itself was light and airy, yet rich and decadent. It literally melted in my mouth. And the toppings... chocolate, OREO, drizzled with peanut butter... I can't even... It honestly took me about an hour to get through half of this monster, and I enjoyed every, over-the-top, delicious bite.
Rewind a bit: There was no indoor seating in Voodoo Doughnuts, so I quickly paid for my treat, (cash only, please), carefully slipped my doughnut into my bag, and went out in search for a warm dry place to sit and partake of my breakfast.
A few doors down was Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which, I had never heard of, despite being an avid coffee drinker (go figure?!?)
This is my poor excuse of a panoramic shot of this cool, sleek and modern coffee shop.
I really loved the exposed brick as well as the super long service counter. And, here is the perfect accompaniment to my Voodoo Doughnut. A perfectly topped soy double latte:
I'm already enjoying every moment of this trip, and it's only Day 1! ^_^