festival food

I was totally impressed by almost all aspects of Treasure Island Music Festival, save for one: its food. Now, I’m no fool. I know that people don’t attend these kinda things to enjoy gourmet cooking. While limited, I also have enough knowledge of economic theory to know that price-gouging is guaranteed. All the same, I couldn’t help but notice and document the cheerless fare on offer.

On our first day, we grabbed a few different eats at some of the booths, all of which were similarly uninspired. One of my favorite Bay Area stands, Tante’s, was there, but I overcame my desire for their knishes and opted to try new places instead.

This yakisoba was fairly standard, though I did appreciate the ratio of veggies to noodles. For $9, though, it goes without saying that we could’ve done much better.

Jay also had this meatball hoagie from Savourie Streets, a food truck from San Ramon. The meatballs were tender and the sauce savory — but it was still predictably overpriced.

I was psyched to spot Frozen Kuhsterd, a dessert truck that I’d heard about previously, parked near the restrooms. I ordered a sundae with a mini spiced chocolate donut from Dynamo Donuts, cinnamon toast crunch ice cream, and a crumble of Oreo cookies. It was good, but not noteworthy.

Not pictured: some huge New York-style slices from I Love Spicy Pie pizza and bacon-wrapped hot dogs from carts parked near Civic Center. Both were delicious greasebombs that left me with a heavy belly and feelings of remorse. Maybe we just chose unwisely, since there were a good dozen plus vendors present at the festival. Either way, I was not impressed.

The next morning, I was determined to prevent history from repeating itself. We picked up some banh mi sandwiches from our favorite Vietnamese deli, Little Vietnam Cafe, before heading to Treasure Island. It was a whopping $15 for three different, delicious, nutritious dishes that fed us well into the next day. In this matter, as in many others, the Boy Scout adage rings true: be prepared. It makes for much better outcomes.

Other tips gleaned from this round of Treasure Island:

  • Bring a heavy jacket, even if it looks warm out. Since Treasure Island is at sea level, chilly winds are going to sweep in, uninhibited, once the sun goes down. I brought a winter coat and was very, very glad I did.
  • If you haven’t caffeinated beforehand, expect a long wait to get your fix. The lines at the three coffee carts at the festival looked as though they were at least 50 people deep the entire night.
  • Pack a picnic blanket if you want to park on the lawn. Next time, I might just camp out with friends for an extended daylong picnic.
  • Last but not least — learn from my mistakes. Get enough rest and hydrate!
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