Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Time for Outsidelands August 11, 2011

Filed under: Geek,Music — geekchef @ 5:55 pm
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Here is my schedule

Here’s some last minute tips for SF Outsidelands, happening this weekend in Golden Gate Park.


Check out the lineup and schedule and make a plan. There are a ton of amazing bands, many playing at the same time. Decide which ones are must see shows and then work around those times. It takes a while to move from one stage to another, so keep that in mind while you plan.

Look at the map. It’s big and there is a lot going on. Get an idea of the layout ahead to save some time as you run between stages.

Pack the night before. Gates open at 11am and it will take at least an hour to get there, even if you live in the city. I live 40 miles from SF, it usually takes me an hour to get there (and park) but I’m planning on a two hour trip. I don’t know about you, but I just want to grab and go tomorrow morning.

What to pack:

Sealed bottle (max 1 liter) of water or empty reusable bottle. They will make you empty your bottle unless it’s factory sealed. You can add water any time at one of the refilling stations inside.

Snacks. SF offers amazing food and this festival is no different, but the lines are long and the prices are high. Grab some snacks to cover you between meals.

Layers! The forecast is sunny with highs in the low 60’s and temp dropping ten degrees in the evening. No idea about wind and no guarantee this forecast is accurate. Bring something warm for the late shows; you can use it as a cushion or pillow during the day.

Don’t forget sunscreen! It might not be that hot, but it’s full sun all day. Protect your skin or you will get burned.

Other tips:

Camp out (as in watch the band(s) lined up before.) If there is a band you really want to see, you might need to get there early to ensure good seating. This is important for the big name acts at the end of the night, it gets really crowded and if you want a good spot you’ll have to put some time in. Hang out at that stage ahead of time and move forward as the crowd clears.  I’m pretty sure I will be parked at Lands End all day Saturday.

Take public transit. Unless you already made parking arrangements, you will not find parking. Believe me, it’s hard enough to park in that area on regular days.

Explore the City! SF is a great place, grab breakfast near Irvine street before you head in and grab drinks after the show anywhere in the city. Check out yelp for suggestions.

Be green! Outsidelands does their best to stay green with a solar powered stage, recycling and compost bins. Follow along and bring reusable or recyclable containers for your snacks. And of course, don’t litter.

Be careful, be smart! This is a safe place as long as you are smart. If you get trashed and wander off to a sketchy area, you are really asking for trouble. I know a lot of people like to party hard at concerts, but three days outside in crowds and funky weather is rough enough for me, I can’t add booze without burning out.  Don’t do anything that will end up messing up your experience.

Extra warning to people planning on stopping by Hippie Hill for mischief during your trip: There’s good odds you’ll get ripped off and/or busted. Everyone knows about the concert and will be looking for tourists to scam and police will be in full force and on the lookout for knuckleheads.


SF Street Food Fest August 21, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 9:30 pm
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I just got back from the SF Street Food Fest and man, I’m exhausted. There were a ton of people! I’m not sure how many, but enough for me to get my Super Swarm Badge and of course the street food badge, Ziggy’s Wagon.

I wasn’t able to try as many things as I hoped, I got there late and the lines were just to long to sample everything. But here is a sample of what I did try.

Purple Hibiscus: Scotch Egg

A Scotch egg is a shelled hard-boiled egg, wrapped in a sausage meat mixture, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. I could be wrong, but the meat tasted a bit like lamb. I do know the seasoning was just the right amount of spice. The outside was wonderfully crispy the inside moist and delightful, very impressive for mass produced street food. I am a little confused why a UK snack food was at a West African stand, but happy for the opportunity to try.

Flour+Water: Summer Melon with Duck Prosciutto and Lardo

This was a lovely simple dish with strong flavors. Again, I was supprised by the quality of the items. The melon was perfectly ripe and crisp. The clean flavor played nicely with the rich and salty cured pork fat (Lardo) and duck prosciutto. I never had prosciutto that wasn’t pork so I was excited to try the duck. It was very interesting, it tasted a little richer and gamey, but overall not bad.

Curry Up Now: Chicken Tikka Masala Burrito

Folks in the Financial District line up during their lunch breaks, sometimes for their entire lunch break, for one of these bad boys. I have to say, it wasn’t my favorite dish of the day, but it wasn’t bad either. The chicken was great, moist and well seasoned. But the rice was dripping in sauce and just a tad spicier than I would have liked. I also wish there were more pickles and onions, or something to break up the dense chicken and rice. I can’t imagine getting any work done after having one of these bad boys for lunch.

ClairSquares: Mini Squares

I had a bite of Clairsquare’s signature treats to cool my tongue down after the curry. This was the moistest shortbread I’ve ever tasted, it was delicious! A clairsquare consists of Irish shortbread topped with a layer of caramel and then covered in yummy chocolate. It was FAB! I do wish that the caramel was a bit more pronounced, with a hint of vanilla perhaps. I am pretty in love with my vanilla, so I’m very critical of other people’s caramel. On the plus side, they do not use trans fat or corn syrup in their treats, the high quality natural ingredients are noticeable in every bite.

Endless Summer Sweets: Funnel Cakes

First off, they should change the name to endless line. It took me an hour to get my cake, I had to shlep through two lines – one to pay and one to pick up and both were 30 minutes long. UG! Obviously it was a brilliant idea to have funnel cakes at this festival, but they really should have kicked the production into gear once they experienced the demand.

When I finally got my cake, it was perfectly brown and crisp with a light dusting of powdered sugar, fresh sliced strawberries and whipped cream. The cream was hand whipped, which is nice. But was scooped out of a 10 gallon bucket and oozed all over. I’m not sure if that was the desired consistency of the cream (half whipped and drippy) or I just got the dregs of the bucket (which I did), but it was very unattractive to watch them ladle out the serving. Again, it would have been nice to taste some vanilla or other seasoning in the cream, or have it whipped firm with little sweetener and cold – to contrast the super sweet cake, but nope.

The funnel cake was exactly like you would get at any fair and great quality if you put it in those parameters. But I just had some amazingly high quality street food and I was hoping for a knock my socks off dessert. Alas, nope. The first bite was exciting, but every bite after became increasingly gross, and I ended up dumping shortly after. I should have grabbed a cone from Bi-Rite.

a shot of the crowd