If you think you’ve got a handle on Portland's doughnut game, think again. Every Sunday starting June 3, Outer Darkness Donuts, a new pop-up from Brandon Weeks, will fire up the deep fryer inside Southeast Portland’s Jacqueline, from 8 a.m.— 4 p.m.
Weeks, best known for his HunnyMilk “stoner brunches” at Northeast Portland’s La Buca, will focus on flights of five made-to-order, sweet and savory mini doughnuts in a range of doughs and presentations. Wrap your mind around this: a Saigon cinnamon churro-nut with bittersweet chocolate ganache and milk chocolate caramel semifreddo. Or this: a bombolone breakfast sandwich with melty cheddar scramble, black garlic aioli, and Mama Lil’s peppers. Whoa.
“I love fried food—a little bit trashy, a little bit lowbrow—but [I'm] also coming from a fine dining background," says Weeks. "Blend those two things together and I think we offer something really interesting.”
And what’s a doughnut without a cup of coffee? In a city that tends to focus on light and medium brews, Weeks is featuring dark beans from top roasters around the country, from Santa Cruz’s Verve to Seattle’s Caffe Umbria. “I thought it would be cool to put together a wine list, so to speak, of five different kinds, so you can choose from a variety of hard-to-find coffees,” he says.
And if that isn’t enough to get you out of bed, don’t worry: there’s booze, too—make that coffee Irish, or choose from three “fun” mimosas with mango and guava, strawberry sorbet with yuzu and elderflower, or young coconut-watermelon with cucumber and a lime zest sugar rim.
According to Weeks, this project has been a decade-long dream; the original vision for HunnyMilk was a doughnut and ice cream shop. It’s not 100 percent yet, but Weeks is in the process of signing a lease on a brick-and-mortar for his HunnyMilk brunch pop-up on West Burnside. If Outer Darkness goes well, he teases, a second, doughnut-centric brick-and-mortar could be a reality by the end of the year.
“It’s kind of an experiment,” says Weeks. “Time will tell.”