Outside Lands: A Rock Festival Fit For Foodies
You won't find any mystery meat or processed cheese at this annual San Francisco music gathering, which features selections from some of the Bay Area's finest restaurants.
Like many music festivals -- Lollapalooza and Coachella among them -- last weekend's Outside Lands, held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate park, adopts the now standard three-day schedule: 100-plus established and up-and-coming bands (ranging from the Queen-lite rock of Muse to the ecstatic dance-happiness of Girl Talk), loads of outsider art, and a billowy cloud of familiar smelling smoke and sweat coming off a field full of youthful revelers which numbered in the tens of thousands.
But what sets Outside Lands apart is its food: not content with the typical festiness of do-it-yourself burritos and greasy pizza, the organizers bring a slew of the Bay Area's best restaurants to serve up menu selections curated specifically for the music gathering, making Outside Lands not just a must-go destination for rockers, but gourmands and gluttons too. Of course, with the upswing in quality comes an urge for pretension (especially among an already snooty indie rock crowd), so we've paired some of Outside Lands’ best dishes with a few of the festival's most notable performances.
The dish: A succulent, salty crispy mac & cheese, gooey like cheese sticks but dippable into a sweet sauce via their crunchy breaded exterior.
Best paired with: John Fogerty, whose nostalgic song selection (including Creedence Clearwater Revival classics like “Born On The Bayou” and “Fortunate Son”) and hey-there-look-at-me cheese charmingly transported the polo field from the heart of San Francisco to somewhere in the middle of the Kansas state fair.