What We're Eating at Outside Lands


Tartine Manufactory's mortadella hoagie. - JANELLE BITKER
  • Janelle Bitker
  • Tartine Manufactory's mortadella hoagie.

For many festival-goers, Outside Lands is as much about the food as the music. In its 10th year, there is one notable new addition that’s probably already on every culinary-minded attendee’s hit-list: Tartine Manufactory.

Supporting an East Bay eatery here is a great idea, but if you're looking for the absolute most delicious — and new, only-available-at-OSL — meal this weekend, look no further than Tartine Manufactory's hoagie. In my five years of covering Outside Lands, it’s the best thing I’ve tasted.

Like all things Tartine, this sandwich is deceivingly simple — and depends on fantastic bread. It’s stuffed with mortadella, provolone, herbs, mayo, lots of pickled vegetables, and even more olive oil. Take note: Outside Lands signage states Tartine’s amazing morning buns are only available in the VIP section. Thankfully, those signs are lying.

Pro tip: you can order both of Itani Ramen's izakaya items in one dish. - JANELLE BITKER
  • Janelle Bitker
  • Pro tip: you can order both of Itani Ramen's izakaya items in one dish.

For new-to-the-fest, Oakland-based eats, Itani Ramen debuted a second, izakaya-style stand. There were rumors of the festival adding a Japan Lands section soon, and indeed, Itani is basically a trial run for the concept. There's no sake, but the fried chicken gyoza and, even better, kurobuta sausage with spicy mustard are great snacks to share. You can get three of each for $9.

Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with pizza and burritos for ease of eating on the run. Del Popolo, Mozzeria, Senior Sisig, and Curry Up Now are all good choices — and all have vegetarian options. I can’t vouch for Dabba’s “ethnic confusion burrito.”

Jacobi White finally comes onto the Gastro Magic stage. - JANELLE BITKER
  • Janelle Bitker
  • Jacobi White finally comes onto the Gastro Magic stage.

Food lovers should also keep the Gastro Magic stage in mind for killing time with irreverence between sets. The stage, which pairs celebrity chefs with live entertainers, got off to a rocky start this year. Chef Chris Cosentino was paired with former A Tribe Called Quest member Jacobi White and San Francisco’s Jazz Mafia band. The hip-hop-inflected jazz band played a rockin’ set before a stalling Cosentino finally admitted White hadn’t arrived yet. His flight was delayed due to “Karl the Fog.” You know, Karl. About an hour after the scheduled start time, Jacobi rushed in, threw on an apron, and chatted about his bacon vinaigrette with frisee — for about five minutes, and then it was time to prep for the next act. Perhaps unsurprisingly, A Tribe Called Quest had to reschedule its set for 7 p.m. tomorrow due to travel issues.