leave your inhibitions at the door
There are two other major U.S. music fests – Coachella (Palm Springs desert) and Bonnaroo (BF Egypt, Tennessee). While Coachella might get the Hollywood stars and Bonnaroo’s campgrounds make for more of a community feel, I can guarantee you that neither hold a candle to Lollapalooza for food, both during the fest and after. Being on the lakefront of one of the best food cities in America, concertgoers are within easy striking distance to all kinds of great restaurants.
But even within the festival grounds, the food was exceptional. Lollapalooza is all about eclectic music, talented musicians and bringing you the best of what’s up-and-coming. (Another F-U to Dave Grohl). So it’s only fitting that the food offerings do the same. Beginning last year, the food vendors selection was coordinated by Chicago’s own celeb chef/rock enthusiast Graham Elliott, who’s been featured on Iron Chef America, The Today Show, and Top Chef Masters. There are still some of the standards – pizza, barbecue, etc. But there were many offerings that I can only describe as “gourmet”. Even though I hate that word.
So in the midst of all this great music and availability of food from high-end restaurants, I thought it was only fitting to eat like a music legend – Aretha Franklin. But there was more than even Retha could sample, so I split meals with my cousin – El Douchebag.
Here’s a list of the booths we visited and what the two of us ate:
– Lobster corndog
The Gage and Henri
– The Gage Scotch Egg
– Henri Banh Mi – almost perfect if it wasn’t for the shitty bread
– Pork Rinds with Vadouvan Curry
Franks ‘N’ and Dawgs
– Triple truffle fries – waffle fries with truffle butter, truffle oil, and truffle salt
– Chicagoesque hot dog – carmelized onions, cherry tomaoe, relish, pickles and beer mustard
– Brunch dog – pork loin sausage, cobb smoked bacon, scrambled egg & maple mayo
– Also of note – employees were wearing shirts that say “The Lard is my Shepherd”. Overheard – “we’re out of butter, start buttering the buns with bacon fat.” ahhhhhhhhh
– Scallop Explosion – Sea scallop with torched ponzu aioli
– Chicken Tikka flatbread
– Veggie samosas
– El Douchebag called this booth “The Silent Assassin” because it came out of nowhere. I’d have to agree, both were amazing.
– Grass Fed Barbacoa Beef Brisket Burrito (lucky for them, not eligible for the Burrito Guide.)
– Italian Beef. To me this is the greatest iconic Chicago food item. Too bad, theirs sucked. The bread was like that soft, lifeless stuff from Subway.
What we drank:
– A lot of beer
– Sport bottle filled with Pinot Grigio
– A lot more beer
Everyone’s allowed to bring in two 1-liter bottles of water, unopened. I’ve “heard” from “friends” that “some people” dump out the water and fill the bottles up with vodka. And, alledgedly, these “friends” mix the vodka with drinks sold at the fest – Red Bull, Vitamin Water, Sweet Tea.