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Monday, August 31, 2009

Music? What Music? Outside Lands Was All About Eating

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Doug Zimmerman
Rockin' eats at Outside Lands: Maverick's pulled pork sandwich.
​SFoodie sister blog All Shook Down trailed the three-day musical movements of the Outside Lands Festival this weekend, and by the sounds of it, our sonic reporters didn't make too much time for eating. That's no problem, because we ate enough for all of 'em combined.

Our treks across the Polo Fields and Speedway Meadow were not for the bands, but to really take in and appreciate the extensive food selections: the diverse vendors that collectively made up "A Taste of the Bay Area," the farmers market-style booths in "Eco-Lands," and the selective small plates that accompanied "Winehaven."

Doug Zimmerman
A festivalgoer enjoys I Heart Spicy Pie's Hotlips Hula-han: Pineapple, jalapeno, and crushed red pepper pizza.
​It was an impressive lot and a weekend excursion in itself. The large variety of options (think dosas rather than dogs) meant that no line was too big -- if, indeed, there was a line at all.

With all of the international delights that awaited, we are ashamed to admit being beguiled by the first piece of pizza we saw when we arrived. We caught a guy deeply enjoying his slab, and it stayed a mission until we found it: I Heart Spicy Pie's Hotlips Hula-han ($6), with not enough pineapple, too much jalapeno, and just right crushed red pepper on a perfect medium-thick crust. Heartburn inducing, to be sure, but totally worth it.

As long as we were going to be so all-American, we then went for a pulled pork sandwich ($10) from Maverick. Bun, chips, meat, slaw: all simply amazing. A friend recommended we try a Venezuelan sandwich from Napa's Pica Pica Maize Kitchen. Our pernil cachapas, a thick pancake made of sweet corn (with whole kernels) stuffed with pulled pork (we wanted more pork even after Maverick's great opener), avocado, and tomato, was paired with ideally crisp and thick yucca fries ($14). It took up a lot of room in our tummies, but remains the item we'd most like to be eating again, right at this very moment.

We yearned for a mammoth catfish po' boy ($9) from Yats all weekend, but kept filling up too quickly to take on the challenge at the booth. If only we had brought some Tupperware; we'll have to go to Potrero Hill on an empty stomach to check it out some afternoon.

At one point, we had a snack of white miso tuna, seaweed, and brown rice ($3) from Onigilly. It restored us to a healthy second wind after a wave of glorious fried foods.

Doug Zimmerman
Namu's "The Real Korean Taco."
​But after that, of course, tacos sounded like the right thing to do when the weather was peaking. We sought out two very different yet equally delicious options: the Real Korean Taco ($3) from Namu and a cactus salad taco ($4) from El Huarache Loco. The former delighted with its kalbi ribs, daikon, and kimchi salsa and kimchi remoulade, and the latter's bright cactus crunch, cotija cheese, cilantro, onion, and tomato was sunshine on a plate.

That Red Bull and soju cocktail was a bad call on our part, but we enjoyed some great drinks otherwise throughout the weekend, including slurp-worthy ginger-mint lemonade from Blowfish Sushi ($2) and a pleasantly vinegary white "sangria" from Andalu ($3).

Our entire festival experience was propelled by a trio of boosting bevvies from Charles Chocolates: frozen hot chocolate, hot chocolate with a cloud cover of marshmallows, and zingy Thai iced tea (each $4), a prescient range for the changing temps over the three days.

The fest's final evening brought the usual chill back to town, but we warmed up and topped off our evening by swinging back to Charles Chocolates for Organic S'mores ($4). The subtle brown sugar and cinnamon flavors of the fresh, giant graham cracker held what seemed like almost half a bar's worth of bittersweet richness and a perfectly browned marshmallow.

The last band was due to perform in 45 minutes, but our edible headliners had already finished their performances. And so we left, completely satisfied with all those great tastes ringing in our ears.

Peruse more Outside Lands food porn . . . after the jump.

Doug Zimmerman
Onigilly's white miso tuna onigiri.

Doug Zimmerman
Shucking a Hog Island Sweetwater oyster.

Tamara Palmer
I Heart Spicy Pie's Hotlips Hula-han.

Doug Zimmerman
El Huarache Loco's Cactus Salad Taco.

Tamara Palmer
Pica Pica Maize Kitchen's Pernil cachapas and yucca fries

Doug Zimmerman
Charles Chocolates' Organic S'Mores

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Tamara Palmer


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