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Event Tue Aug 05 2014
Lollapalooza, where you wash your feet in a muddy puddle to clean them. Where the souls of crushed Budweiser cans and plastic cups line the pathways and peek from underneath bushes. Where an entire field becomes a frat party.
Most festival food consists of fried cheesy shit designed to soak up mass quantities of alcohol, but Lolla had a surprisingly good lineup of restaurants this year, including Franks 'n' Dawgs, Edzo's Burger Shop, Star of Siam, and Jeni's Splendid Ice-Cream. Graham Elliot did a fine job curating the roster for Chow Town, and there was even a farmer's market for those special attendees who wanted to rock a fresh zucchini while grooving to Grouplove.
My Chow Town favorites included the Nutella and Brioche Gelato Sandwich from Franco's Ristorante, Wisconsin Goat Cheese, Black Bean, And Poblano Quesadilla from Burrito Beach, and Smoke & Cured "Speck" Sandwich with Arugula and Smoked Mozzarella from Bar Toma. In the VIP lounge, there was a free meal-to-order system, including Lou Malnati's pizza, pulled BBQ chicken sliders, and beef tamales. Publican Quality Meats also had their own stand with outstanding sandwiches, particularly the Muffaletta (prosciutto cotto and capicola, giardinera) and the "Great Escape" (shaved morcadilla sausage, aji costenero, erza feta, and avocado crema on naan).
With 100,000+ attendants at Lolla each day, the food lines (and consequently, the bathroom lines) sometimes became prohibitively long. The messy crowds at Chow Town made ordering difficult, though some lines were worth the wait. Perhaps I will email Lolla's suggestion hotline and demand that they add ice-cream vending machines next year.