In its fifth year, and despite a music lineup that wasn't as stellar as previous years, Outside Lands really outdid itself with the food and drink. Outside Lambs, with the help of The Whole Beast's John Fink, served up some delicious lamb poutine, mulligitawny soup, and lamb kofte. The new Beer Lands concession was wildly popular, with organizer and beer curator Dave McLean (Magnolia Pub & Brewery) estimating that they were killing a keg an hour at most of the taps on Saturday. The Wine Lands tent was busier than we'd ever seen it, especially on Saturday evening when it might as well have been the New York Stock Exchange but we have to give a special shout-out to those few pourers who recognized the inherent stinginess of the prescribed, barely two-ounce tasting pour, and tipped their elbow that one or more extra times for us (you know who you are).
In general, the food service was kicked up a notch this year, with Wine Lands more popular than ever, a strong showing for Beer Lands (with tastes starting at $2 and full pints between $10 and $15). And food vendors seemed to know how to pump out the product pretty efficiently too.
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There was a consistent line all weekend for the Del Popolo truck, which was the main high-end pizza vendor (alongside the ever-present I <heart> Spicy Pie.
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... and it's no wonder given how great Jon Darsky's Neapolitan pies are, fresh out of the oven. This one was topped with homemade cured pork sausage.
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The back bar at Wine Lands, which was a canoe.
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Woodhouse Fish Co.
Woodhouse brought the oysters this year, with both raw and these barbecued beauties.
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4505 Meats had multiple stands, both on the Polo Fields and back by the Wine Lands tent, serving their excellent burger (among our top five in the city), this stellar chicken yum-yum sandwich with jalapenos and slaw, "rice krispie treats" made with chicharrones and chocolate chips, and the fries, which you'll see next.
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These garlic-chimichurri fries, topped with a garlic-cream sauce and chili oil, were the bomb.
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Dave McLean (left) with old friend Terence Sullivan, better known as the brewmaster at Sierra Nevada. McLean estimated that most of the taps were just open, without shutting off, during the mad rush at Beer Lands on Saturday, with each brewery killing about a keg per hour at each tap.
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Andalu's ever-popular fried mac and cheese, which has become an Outside Lands staple.
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Big Chef Tom's Belly Burgers
This pork-belly burger stand served this spin on the banh mi, dubbed the Banh, Baby, Banh. It had a pork-belly patty with Vietnamese caramel, hardboiled egg, jalapeno, and cilantro.
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Nojo served this excellent pork katsu sandwich with slaw and mayo on white bread. Also great concert food that we hadn't before.
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John Fink (right) of The Whole Beast curated the new Outside Lambs area, where they went through 25 whole animals over the course of the weekend. As much of the whole carcasses were used in a variety of dishes, including a stock made from nine of them that formed the base of the mulligitawny soup.
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Here's a shot inside the smoker, where various sides of lamb were mid-smoke.
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The lamb poutine at Outside Lands was probably the big hit of the weekend, topped with smoked lamb, lamb gravy, sheep's milk cheese, and rendered lamb-fat "bacon bits."
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Also great were these "grandmother's lamb kofte" kebabs from Michael Mina, topped with yogurt sauce.
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... and this lamb sausage topped with fried onions from Bourbon Steak.
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I ♥ Spicy Pie
The weekend wouldn't be complete without some of this spicy pepperoni and jalapeno pizza from everyone's favorite festival vendor.