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Monday, August 10, 2015

Mopping Up the Rest of Outside Lands

Posted By on Mon, Aug 10, 2015 at 5:15 PM

Big Freedia's crew feeding beignets to the GastroMagic crowd. - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Big Freedia's crew feeding beignets to the GastroMagic crowd.

Another year, another Outside Lands. Nombe's ramenburger line was, predictably, the longest, although Del Popolo and Señor Sisig came close. Other than that, it was the usual orgy of fattening foods that I've come to love. Here's the last batch of highlights, so you can play what to eat in 363 days!

Not entirely sure how I skipped this in my Day Two roundup (although the free beer is a good candidate), but Saturday's Beignets and Bounce Brunch with Big Freedia and Brenda's Soul Food was a rip. Apart from the "Isk-yooze!/I don't mean to be rude" and "I got that gin in my system/Somebody gonna be my victim" refrains, if you were lucky, you got fed. I've seen Big Freedia more times than anyone else who performed at OSL, and she's unfailingly the best. Just more proof that in spite/because of its size, GastroMagic is the money stage.

Although Big Freedia was most enjoyable, the Food Fight with Pete Homes and Ne Timeas vs. Big Night was freaking hilarious. An unapologetic ripoff of Family Feud (right down to the fiddle theme music and shouting at the board), it only held itself together by virtue of Holmes' inability to take anything seriously: "We pretended to ask 100 chefs" answers to categories such as "Where in a Restaurant Would You Have Sex?" or "What's the Most Anhoying Thing Patrons Do?" (They were pretty liberal with the answers, and trolly, too. "Asking for something gluten-free" was accepted as "Fake food allergies.")

All eight chef contestants wore sunglasses in spite of it being foggy in late afternoon, as GastroMagic assistants brought out Heineken tall boys for them. Who knew having sex in the walk-in was desirable?

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Although the line for Nombe's ramenburger meant equally long lines for their fried chicken, Little Skillet more than made up for it with their chicken-and-waffles (with optional mac 'n' cheese). And you got a free slice of watermelon, too!

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I went back to Cheeselands, which had been out of nearly everything the day before, for the Cheesemonger's Pick ($14). Although one or two are hard to identify based on name alone, and it's presented in something of a military style, you get a great selection, among them Cypress Grove Chevre Truffle Tremor, Marin French Cheese Petite Crème Brie, Roldolphe Le Meuniere La Jeaune Autise, and Sartori SarVecchio Parmesan.

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While I was over there, I picked up some oysters from Woodhouse. Sadly, no one was able to tell me the contents of the sauce that came with the barbecued shells, but its spicy tang was considerably richer than any ordinary cocktail sauce. The plate above cost $26, which is actually cheaper than you'd expect given the festival markups on nearly everything else. And the oysters were insanely creamy.

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I'm really confused by the Butcher's Daughter, which isn't a brick-and-mortar but a sporadic pop-up. Impossible to find on Twitter, in possession of a Facebook page that hasn't been updated since November, and with a website that doesn't work all, it's almost as if Julie Schaller couldn't hate being tracked down more. (Her family's Manhattan butcher, Schallen & Weber, is easily found.) I was delighted to stumble upon it, if only for a pickle and a few schmears of pâté.

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The last food-related thing before it got way too dark to take pictures of stuff was Mac Sabbath, who took the GastroMagic stage last night at 6:50, just before Elton John. As but a casual Black Sabbath fan, there are probably lots of earnestly thought-through jokes that went way over my head, but this parody group's devotion is high. Mac Sabbath is a McDonald's-themed Sabbath cover band, who perform homages dressed as evil denizens of some demented Play Place. The Hamburglar has tusks, Grimace is grimacing with one leering eye half-shut, and Ronald McDonald looks like he went to hell and back. 

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One of them got "a phone call on the telly" in 1979, finding out that they could no longer sell their cherry pies because they contain "zero percent fruit."

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Mac Sabbath claimed to have played with KISS in the U.K. 

"Gene Simmons will tell you he invented everything. 'Oh, you invented this, the bass?'" said one Mac Sabbath member.

They threw red boxes of fries at people — five out of six things I saw at GastroMagic involve throwing food at the audience — and made reference to other fast food cover bands, like "Andrew W. KFC." I would pay cash money to see that again.

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About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


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