Full disclosure: I did not go to Outside Lands as a food writer nor was I ever assigned to write about the food and drinks; I was there solely for the music. But here are a few food impressions from a first time Outside Lander.
Location, Location, Location: Having heard that in year’s past, all the food options were primarily at a central location, organizers did things right this year with food and beverage booths set up near each of the four main music stages. Probably the least amount of food options was near the Sutro Stage, but there was still Earthly Delights, Spicy Pie and Dakota Farms/Asqew Grill plus Beer Lands was right across the way. Big plus for music fans looking to grab a quick bite in between sets.
Beer Lands Joins Wine Lands: Beer Lands was a welcome addition this year with tons of local craft brews on tap. The list of available beers was outstanding; I especially liked Sierra Nevada’s Outside Lands Saison, Pacific Brewing Lab’s Squid Ink Black IPA and Magnolia Gastopub and Brewery’s Kalifornia Kolsch. But truly a ton of great options for beer lovers. Among the qualms I heard; the price of the beers ($9 apiece). Honestly, compared to most festivals, that seems like a pretty decent bargain. Also, there was plenty of confusion about having to purchase tickets before grabbing your beer. But all-in-all, I thought it was a success.
Lamb for Days: A new food feature for Outside Lands this year was Outside Lambs. Located on the walking path headed to the Panhandle and Twin Peaks Stages, the booths featured The Whole Beast and a pop-up from the Michael Mina Group. Menu items included lamb gyros, poutine, lamb sausage hotdogs and lamb kefta meatballs. A true representation of some of the best food in San Francisco.
There was truly great food everywhere in Golden Gate Park. There was items concertgoers would normally expect at a festival (pizza, burgers, fries, hot dogs) but as is the case on many occasions, San Francisco restaurants and food vendors showed everyone in attendance why this is one of the best food cities in the world with several unique and tasty treats. A truly amazing weekend of food, drinks and music at Outside Lands 2012.