written by Julie Lee | featured photo courtesy of Rally Pizza
Remember Farrell’s, a beloved ice cream parlor that originated in NW Portland that bloomed to over 120 locations nationwide? The draw? Crazy desserts. Farrell’s zoo sundae was legendary—a behemoth vat of ice cream with protruding cherries and umbrellas, delivered on a stretcher by a couple zany dudes in straw boater hats while ambulance sirens blared. Farrell’s is now a memory, with just four locations left and none in Oregon. But there are plenty of places to cure your next wacky dessert fix.
Portlanders can hop the bridge to experience some of the best frozen custard known to mankind at the new, hip, Rally Pizza. There are ‘concretes,’ frozen custards blended with house-made desserts, and ‘sundaes,’ served with whip and a cherry. From the cherry pie, made with Columbia Gorge tart cherries and homemade flaky pie in the custard to the campfire sundae with gooey burnt marshmallow, the desserts here are all a little crazy . . . crazy good. From now until the Super Bowl, get the limited special Crunch Attack: house-made caramel corn, fudge, butterscotch sauce, malted milk crunch, toasted hazelnuts, and Valrhona chocolate pearls, all atop vanilla bean frozen custard. Now that’s a touchdown.
8070 E Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver | rallypizza.com
Like they say, “the magic is in the hole.” Voodoo changed the way we eat doughnuts, from a sugar bang for breakfast to an anytime dessert. Doughnuts with bacon, Cap’n Crunch and grape flavored tang, doughnuts shaped like voodoo dolls and various male genitalia—this is about as insane as it gets in the world of desserts. People line up 24 hours a day at the flagship location in Old Town Portland, happily emerging with the iconic pink box. Voodoo doesn’t just do doughnuts, they do weddings (really!) on-site and also tributes to icons who have passed, currently featuring an Arnold Palmer doughnut: plain cake with vanilla frosting and a lemonade/ice tea dust on top.
Various Locations in Portland, Eugene, Colorado, Texas and Taiwan | voodoodoughnut.com
Imagine creamy, French-custard ice cream with house-made marshmallows, caramel sauces, pecan brittle and honeycomb candy added in—and that’s not the crazy part. Take some salty, crispy Belgian fries and dip those into the custard, now we’ve gone certifiable. At Frite & Scoop in Astoria, a local favorite dessert stop, Kevin and Lisa Malcolm combined their talents as pastry chef and ice cream wizard and their opposing cravings for salty and sweet, and created an addictive dessert. The new “whip and chip” is a zany sundae with hot fudge, caramel sauce, graham cracker crumble and berry coulis with whip and crushed house-made Kennebec potato chips as an exclamation point.
175 14th St. #150, Astoria | friteandscoop.com
Fried eggs for dessert? José Chesa and Cristina Baez say yes, with Ataula’s Huevos Fritos: yolk sorbet on coconut mousse, finished with Jacobsen Salt fleur de sel. The dish resembles two fried eggs in a skillet, and the artfully combined textures make for a sweet, salty, sassy treat. Ataula is the Portland go-to for a perfect night out, with rollicking atmosphere, inviting service, mouth-watering tapas. For some of Portland’s most habit-forming snacks, check out the sister spot, 180pdx, Oregon’s first xurro shop, featuring an array of xurros and some mind-blowing drinking xocolata.
1818 NW 23rd Pl., Portland | ataulapdx.com
If you live down south, then this is old news. If you don’t, The Twisted Cork is worth a visit to Grants Pass. An adults-only oasis, The Twisted Cork features local Oregon and Washington wine and beer and terrific accompanying tapas, small plates and main entrées like seared scallops and herb crusted rack of lamb. The desserts are what makes this wine bar special, though, and if you want to bust the post dinner paradigm, try the warm Brie with blueberry compote, finished with lavender honey and almonds.
210 SW 6th St., Grants Pass | thetwistedcorkgrantspass.com