Let’s Talk About Doughnuts… (aka Review – Blue Star Donuts (Portland, OR))

Blue Star Donuts

1237 SW Washington St.
Portland, OR 97205
Visit Date: March 16, 2018

In today’s health-conscious environment doughnuts are a bad thing.  No one in their right mind is going to describe them as healthy.  That being said, who cares.  Personally, I head to a doughnut shop to enjoy a nice tasty confectionary treat – not a bran & fiber egg white omelet. I also make a point of not doing it that often.  With that in mind, it is probably a good thing I don’t live anywhere close to a Blue Star Donuts location.  If I did, I would likely be on first name terms with a heart surgeon.

Anna and I had done a good bit of research and decided to give Blue Star a try over it’s better-known competitor in town Voodoo Doughnuts.   Everything we had watched and read online seemed to hype up the craft at Blue Star versus the outrageousness of Voodoo.  The night before, we even stopped in for a quick doughnut at Voodoo and were left unimpressed.  We had high hopes that Blue Star would be all that we had hoped after our research.

We made our way to the Downtown location from our trusty room at the Jupiter Hotel. We worked up an appetite along our way, as well as getting to do some sightseeing along the waterfront and through the Pearl District.

The downtown location is right around the corner from the Palace Hotel.  It’s a pretty minimalist environment with an open bakery and a fairly easy line to the register that takes you right past all the goodies.  Anna and I opted for a selection of 4 doughnuts (they’re pretty good size, and super-rich) and coffee.

Our selections:

  • The O.G. – Horchata Glazed
  • Chocolate Buttermilk Bergamot
  • Cointreau Creme Brulee
  • Valhrona Chocolate Crunch

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There were probably three or four others we would have liked to try but the doughnuts are large and quite filling.  We went with the Valhrona first.  Pure decadence.  Chocolate heaven.  Glorious.  Get one.

Next, we sampled the O.G.  It’s a simple but delicious doughnut.  Blue Star uses a brioche base for all of its lineup, and it works particularly well here.  Pairing this one with coffee would make an excellent daily driver.

Third up was the Cointreau doughnut.  We had seen this one in several videos and were pretty impressed.  It has a crispy exterior from the caramelized sugar coating and a small ampule that you use to squeeze the Cointreau into the doughnut.  Between the Cointreau and the amazing filling within the doughnut, we were in heaven.  Orange and cream with a crunchy exterior – pure heaven.

At this point, we took a break for a few minutes and enjoyed our coffee.  Again, these doughnuts are pretty rich – I would *not* recommend getting a dozen of these unless you have several friends.

The final doughnut of our morning was the Chocolate Buttermilk Bergamot doughnut.  This was one of my choices, and I went with it out of curiosity – we have Bergamot growing in our front yard.

To be honest I am not sure what I thought we were getting with this one.  Chocolate obviously, but besides that?  No clue.  For the record, this doughnut is a game changer – one of those things you try and it redefines what you thought was possible.  It is hard to put into words, but there is certainly a level of richness and spice that was both indulgent and comforting.  If I had had any room left in my stomach, I would have happily gone back for another.  In all honesty, I intended to look for them at the Airport location but unfortunately forgot about them in my rush to clear security.

In Summary

If you go to Portland, and even remotely like doughnuts then make your way to Blue Star.  The quality of their product was head and shoulders above that of their more famous competitor.  While the line was short when we got there, it did get a bit longer while we were eating.  That said, it’s worth a bit of a wait so factor that into your planning.  Don’t be afraid to try something out of your comfort zone – you might be surprised at what you get (in a good way).

PS – There is a location outside security at the Portland Airport.  And yes, they will let you through with these delicious delights…