Outside Lands Day Two

Day two of Outside Lands was probably my favorite day. Why, you ask? It was my birthday! We got there early, stayed late and enjoyed all of my favorites (including Humphrey Slocombe).

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First, we started off with one of my favorites from last year, Homeroom‘s Gilroy Garlic Mac and Cheese. Mac and cheese is one of my favorite food groups and Homeroom’s is the best! I still haven’t been to their Oakland location that serves favorites like Dungeness Crab Mac and Sriracha Mac, but I hope to visit the next time I am in the Bay Area. The Gilroy Garlic Mac and Cheese that they serve at Outside Lands is simple, garlic-filled and delicious! I could have eaten this, and only this, for three days straight.

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Next stop was Il Cane Rosso‘s Fried Egg Sandwich. I am a sucker for a good breakfast sandwich and they have a great one! It doesn’t help that they are located in the Ferry Building, one of my favorite places to hang out on a Sunday in the city. I am there all the time, which means I am eating these breakfast sandwiches all the time. The fresh Acme bread with onion butter covering the yolky egg and generous slabs of bacon is heavenly.

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We jumped on the food trend wagon and got in the long long line for Nombe‘s Ramen Burger. The small burger patty, tomato, lettuce, grilled onions, and cheese were covered in two seasoned ramen bunches in the shape of a bun. It was surprisingly different than the one I tried down here in Los Angeles from Keizo Shimamoto. The burger was just O-K, but the seasoned ramen bun was delicious!

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I have seen Pica Pica on Diners Drive-ins and Dives and all of the food looked delicious. When I found out that they were going to be at Outside Lands, I was excited to try their famous Arepa. An Arepa is a grilled corn pocket filled with savory goodness. We chose the shredded chicken arepa served with yummy yuca fries. I see why Guy Fieri loved Pica Pica. I thought the corn exterior would be overwhelming in flavor, but it was the perfect covering to the chicken.

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The afternoon called for a little indulgence. We ventured over to the Twin Peak stage and kept hearing about Woodhouse Fish Co. serving delicious lobster rolls and oysters, so we had to give them a try! The lobster roll was one of the best that I have ever had and definitely in my Top 3 favorite dishes at Outside Lands.

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Instead of cake, I opted for Humphrey Slocombe‘s special edition flavor, Chocolate Gold Rush. Their handcrafted ice creams are very popular in San Francisco. They just opened a store front in the Ferry Building a couple of months ago, and there is always a line for their creative flavors. For Outside Lands, they combined dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate covered cone pieces. It was a chocolate paradise and the perfect dessert to celebrate my birthday!

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We spent a majority of the evening in the VIP area waiting for Tom Petty to come on that night. The VIP courtyard was beautiful! I loved the decor and they had a small array of food choices, coffee, a Tito’s Vodka van, and flower crowns from Bloom That.

Let’s just say it was an awesome birthday! Now, onto the music of the day.
We walked in to Lands End right as The Kooks were coming on. They put on a great show! I only knew a few of their songs, but they drew a nice crowd for it being so early on in the day. After eating for a couple of hours, we made our way back to Lands End to wait for HAIM to come on. The trio of sisters have found a lot of success in the past year and they put on a rocking show for a large crowd. The John Butler Trio chose to play more of their folk-sounding songs, but the crowd was really into it. We watched Death Cab for Cutie from the VIP area and I was so glad to finally see them in person. We ended the night with Tom Petty. We had already seen him a couple of years back, but it was cool to see him again.

Outside Lands Day One

Outside Lands is my favorite food, music, and art festival in my favorite city. This year, I was lucky enough to be invited to the 3-day festival in San Francisco to cover the gourmet food and beverages offered at the event! Even though I will be separating my posts by day, there is still a lot of grub to cover! Get ready for a #foodporn overload!

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Right when we got to the festival, we started off with a bang! AQ was serving Highbrow Spaghetti Sloppy Joe’s complete with sliced pork and mozzarella. This was one of the more creative and standout dishes that we enjoyed. AQ put a fun twist on a classic comfort food…by combining it with another comfort food.

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I am a huge fan of Tacolicious, so I was very excited to try their new sister restaurant, Chino. They were serving Lumpia filled with pork, beef, and carrots, and from what their website says, it is the Chef de Cuisine’s secret family recipe. We paired it with sriracha and sweet and sour sauce. The outside was perfectly crispy. I think it was a great representation of their Asian fusion style.

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This was easily one of the best things I ate at Outside Lands. This was easily one of the best things I have eaten, ever. This 100% Ground Pork Belly Burger, from Big Chef Tom of Food Network Fame, was served with fried chili pepper aioli, tomatillo relish, and Cotija cheese. It is definitely going to be difficult to enjoy a normal ho-hum beef burger again.

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This split pea soup is a favorite from last year. Split Pea Seduction is a hidden gem of a take-out window on 6th Street; their split pea with slow pork and vegetables is absolutely heavenly. When the wind picks up and the sun starts to dim down, this soup provides the perfect warmth and taste.

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The definition of farm-fresh soul food is Farmerbrown’s Little Skillet. I have had fried chicken and waffles on more than one occasion, and this stood up to the best. The breading on the chicken wasn’t too heavy and not at all oily.

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Freshroll Vietnamese Rolls and Bowls was serving delicious and fresh banh mi sandwiches. A good banh mi can change your life. It was served with aioli, pickled veggies, cilantro and jalapenos. Unfortunately, they were out of pork by the time we got around to their booth, but their chicken banh mi was still killer!

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Attempting to justify the calories and a full day of carbs, I chose to close out the day with Brussels Sprouts from The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. The crispy maple brussels sprouts were just the right amount of sweet and crispy.

Just in case you stuck around long enough to hear about the music…
EL-P and Killer Mike put on a great set earlier in the day. Killer Mike had equally killer dance moves. Grouplove had a lot of energy and did a fun cover of Beyonce’s Drunk in Love. Disclosure was our favorite of the day! They played instruments along with the tracks instead of just going up and pushing some buttons. They got the whole crowd going and everyone was dancing to every single track. For the headlining act, I wanted to watch Kanye West. Before you judge me, he didn’t go on a rant and he played a lot of classics.

Pizza Tuesday: Tony’s Pizza Napoletana

It is safe to say that I have a pizza obsession, and I don’t discriminate. Thin, thick, deep-dish, flatbread, I have had it all and love it all! It is also safe to say that my favorite pizza of all time is found at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach in San Francisco. Owner, Tony Gemignani, is no stranger to good pizza. Famed pizza tosser, he has beat out countless Italians in Naples’ World Pizza Championship. He now has several locations boasting his award-winning recipes across California and Las Vegas. I don’t know how he manages to do it all considering I always see him at one of his establishments in San Francisco whenever I’m in town. It is safe to say this man is a genius and having tried almost every pizza on his menu (regular and seasonal) I still become a bit star stuck when I see him.

 

Now on to the good stuff, my most recent trip might have been my favorite so far. We indulged in three exceptional pizzas, the Quail Egg, White Rose Potato, and Guanciale, the Cal Italia, and the Sausage and Stout. Part of the intrigue of the pizzas at Tony’s lies in the unique ingredients and preparation of each one. There are several different ovens that prepare pizzas at different times and temperatures, ensuring that each one is distinct and perfect.

unnamed-2QUAIL EGG, WHITE ROSE POTATO, AND GUANCIALE
mozzarella, white rose potatoes, rosemary, calabrese peppers, chorizo, quail eggs, guanciale (pork cheek), fromage blanc, lavender sea salt

This pizza is one of my favorites, for two reasons.

1. My mom loved it. – Let me explain, my mom doesn’t LOVE just anything. She is a very closed-minded and picky-eater, so when she went out on a limb and ordered this, I was frightened. She loved the spiciness of the peppers and chorizo, but refused to try the quail egg (which I still find unjustified and ridiculous).

2. The pizza is so unique – I loved everything about this pizza. The crust isn’t too crispy, but still doughy as to absorb the oils from the meats and eggs, and the level of spicy is right on the cusp of adventurous and enjoyable.

 

 

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SAUSAGE AND STOUT

honey malted Guinness stout beer is worked into the dough, mozzarella beer sausage, caramelized onions, crushed red peppers, green onions and rectangles of fontina cheese, and drizzled in a beer salt and sweet a Guinness reduction

This was definitely a new favorite of mine, but I’m pretty sure it is seasonal, so I am trying desperately to not get too attached. I love beer and I love sausage, and this was the best fusion of both in a pizza. What more could you want? You can taste a subtle hint of Guinness (yes, the beer) in the dough with a sweet aftertaste. The beer sausage is meaty and cheesy all at once. The caramelized onions provide a buttery and richness to the pizza that compliments the large chunks of fontina and Guinness reduction drizzle. I would definitely recommend to try this before they take it off the menu!

WARNING: They only make 23 of them per day, so I recommend going for an early lunch; otherwise, you will never see this pizza in real life.

 

 

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CAL ITALIA

asiago, mozzarella, italian gorgonzola, croatian sweet fig preserve, prosciutto di parma, parmigiano, balsamic reduction, no sauce

Now, on to the perfect pizza. This is my favorite pizza of all time. I know that is a big statement, and believe me, I take my comments very seriously. The mix of cheeses is heavenly with the perfect ratio of each. Prosciutto belongs on everything, but it was made for this pizza. If prosciutto is Romeo, then fig jam is Juliet. The combination of the two is everything. It is life. It is love. It is everything. I crave this pizza every day of my life, so much so that my boyfriend recreated it in a grilled cheese. While it was heavenly, it fell JUST short of the Cal Italia.

TRUE STORY: I witnessed someone tear up because this pizza was so good, and they knew they would never have anything like it again. All other pizza would pale in comparison.

Don’t take my word for it! I dare you to go to Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and not walk out smiling, full, and wanting more. A word of advice, if you go for dinner, be prepared to wait at least 2 hours. This isn’t a huge issue if you walk a couple blocks down to Rogue Ale House to wait and drink with friends. If you aren’t the patient type, line up at 11:30AM and you will get a seat right when they open at noon. If you are lucky, you will run in to Tony himself!