Easter is a magical time of the year—when carpenters rise from the dead and bunnies poop out chocolate eggs. There are hundreds of regional riffs on the celebration around the world: In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, men spank their female friends and relatives with a whip. In Bermuda, they fly colorful kites. In Norway, it's customary to read mystery novels. And in Poland, Catholics carve a statue of a lamb out of butter.
But one tradition every country shares is stuffing your face full of food. In America, that typically means bellies full of ham and candy. But why limit yourself to boring cuts of pig and cheap chocolate you can eat any time of the year, when there's a whole world out there of delicious, exotic treats? We scoured Portland for the finest ethnic Easter eats to break your Lenten fast.
Easter braid $18
A sweet egg and butter bread from Italy, made with candied orange, anise seed, lemon zest and hard-baked eggs.
DiPrima Dolci Italian Bakery
1936 N Killingsworth St., 283-5936
Housemade Peeps $3.25
An American classic, done gourmet-style: strawberry or vanilla marshmallows decorated with sprinkles in "Easter-themed shapes."
3901 N Williams Ave., 282-6539, and 3402 SE Division St., 232-4407
Hot cross buns $2.25
Traditional British sweet buns spiced with cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, and studded with currants and candied orange.
102 NW 9th Ave., 827-0910
An Eastern European Easter bread, baked in tall, cylindrical cans and topped with icing.
5716 SE 92nd Ave., 235-5526
THURSDAY, APRIL 21
[THEATER] BRIDGETOWN COMEDY FESTIVAL
It's like summer camp for stand-up comedians: The four-year-old festival brings nearly 200 comics from around the country to the Hawthorne stumble zone, including Kristen Schaal, Doug Benson, Hannibal Buress, Hari Kondabolu, Iliza Shlesinger and Margaret Cho. See bridgetowncomedyfestival.com for the full, overwhelming schedule. Various locations Thursday-Sunday. $75 weekend pass, $20 Thursday or Sunday. Individual shows vary.
It's not too often you get to see a great songwriter in a great theater setting. Phosphorescent—a.k.a. Matthew Houck—is a great songwriter. His new record, Here's to Taking It Easy, is a real heartbreaker. Who needs movies? Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., 223-4527. 8 pm. $15. 21+.
FRIDAY, APRIL 22
[FILM] MUTANT GIRLS SQUAD
If you're not already hip to this twisted Japanese universe, well, how do you feel about a man showing his bloody vaginal growth to his daughter? You like? See this. You don't? What's wrong with you? Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 238-8899. Multiple showtimes. $4-$6.
SATURDAY, APRIL 23
[ROLLER DERBY] ROSE CITY ROLLERS VS. RAT CITY ROLLERS
Portland's premier female sporting league, the Rose City Rollers, takes on Seattle's best in four 30-minute bouts of smack-talking, body-smashing derby action. The Coliseum is an infinitely better venue than the old Oaks Park stadium, transforming the scrappy, silly game into a real spectator sport. Memorial Coliseum, 300 Winning Way. Doors at 5 pm. $14 general admission, $20 guaranteed seating; available at rosequarter.com.
[MUSIC] OFF!, MIKEY AND THE MISTAKES, MEAN JEANS, BLOOD BEACH
Keith Morris was the best of Black Flag's four frontmen. Sure, he only recorded an EP's worth of songs with the band in the very beginning of its lifespan, but they trounce Henry Rollins' albums of overwrought guttural wailings. His new band, Off!, doesn't break any new ground, but it will break your face. East End, 203 SE Grand Ave., 232-0056. 9 pm. $11. 21+.
Migration Brewing plays host to the third installment of beer blog Brewpublic's Microhopic series, featuring recent releases from Amnesia Brewing, Beetje Brewery, Breakside Brewery and Burnside Brewing. Migration Brewery, 2828 NE Glisan St., 753-7572. 6 pm-midnight. 21+.