7 Foods to Stuff Your Face with at Outside Lands
I’m heading into my sixth consecutive year attending Outside Lands. While I love the music, the food offerings are the best of just about any music festival out there (Jazzfest in NOLA is probably its only true rival). For the fourth year in a row I am working for my buddies at Wise Sons Deli in their booth, which has allowed me to trade and taste just about everything on offering in past years. I’ll be missing my old favorite of Homeroom’s Garlic Mac and Cheese but I am looking forward to trying some newcomers like Itani Ramen and Fine & Rare, but in good conscience I can only recommend stuff I’ve already tried. Here’s what I recommend you stuffing your face with this year:
Rich Table – Porcini Doughnuts with Raclette Cheese
A few years ago I was in the booth next to Rich Table and got to smell the umami laden goodness of these savory donuts all day. When I finally ate them they did not disappoint. They are perfectly puffy fried balls of dough, dusted with porcini mushroom powder and served with a cheese dipping sauce. You will forget why you ever wanted sweet donuts… well until you smoke the joint you snuck in.
Suite Foods – Belgian Waffles Stuffed with Fried Chicken
Full disclosure, the owner of Suite Foods is a friend of mine, but anyone who knows me will attest that I’m not capable of faking it when it comes to food and I take my recommendations seriously. There are other good booths to get chicken and waffles, but Suite Foods has a couple of things that make it stand out. First, the waffles are made from a yeast dough that takes two days to rise and then is rolled in pearl sugar so you get little crunchy bits of sweetness spread throughout. Second, portability! They split the waffle and stuff it with the chicken. Its the awesomest sandwich you’ve ever had – chicken and waffles that you can eat with your hands, while walking around. Suite Foods usually packages its waffles so having them warm and fresh of the iron is a huge treat.
Those Fabulous Frickle Brothers – The Fabulous Frickles (duh)
I love pickles, so slicing them, coating them in Lagunitas beer batter and deep frying them really does make them pretty fabulous. I go for the traditional ranch as the side sauce but for spicy lovers the Cukaracha Sriracha is the way to go.
Southpaw BBQ – Smoked Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches (V)
I’m not a vegan, I don’t plan on being a vegan, so why the hell am I suggesting a vegan sandwich to you? Because that annoying vegan friend you are going with deserves some really good food too. (You know who you are). Granted the photo above is the pulled pork but the jackfruit actually looks like pulled meat. The folks at Southpaw know how to smoke shit since they have some actual Southerners in charge of the kitchen. Jackfruit provides an excellent pulled meat substitute with the right texture and fantastic smoky flavor. Your vegan friend will be so happy they won’t even be remotely jealous of the pulled pork you are chowing down on.
Monks Kettle – Pretzel Knots with Beer Cheese Sauce
Warm soft pretzel. Warm gooey cheesy dipping sauce with beer in it. Pair it with a pint of beer. Mmm beer and pretzels…..drool.
4505 Meats – Chicharrones
These are the crack by which I rebel against my Jewish heritage. 4505 has a damn good cheeseburger and the chimichurri fries are a spicy bit of heaven, but let me tell you a little story. Two years ago, I bought some fries at the 4505 booth and picked up a pack of chicharrones for the hell of it and shoved them in my bag. Many hours later I find myself watching the red screened debacle of Kanye West yelling at the crowd and I Charlie Brown sad slogged it out early. Just before the shlep to Muni, I dug around in my bag for my hat and voila! – I found the earlier purchased chicharrones and happiness descended upon me in a ray of crispy, spicy pork skin. Just be sure to get the Originals, which are far superior to the Kettle Cooked.
Wise Sons Jewish Deli – Pastrami Cheese Fries
Yeah, I’m working there, but do you think I would spend four years in a row slogging out these things, my hair reeking of pastrami for days, if these weren’t the bomb? French fries, crumbled house made pastrami, Swiss cheese, house made Russian dressing, pickle relish and green onions. I can make these in my sleep at this point but I do it to make sure every Outside Land attendee has something amazing to snack on during the epic trek from the Twin Peaks Stage back to the Land End Stage. Ok – the free ticket may have something to do with it too, but I’ll be eating these for breakfast. Come by before 5 on Friday and I’ll make it for you myself.