Houston's Music Festival
The ultimate guide to Free Press Summer Fest's food: Eat like a rock star
So what is your plan for eating and drinking this weekend at Free Press Summer Fest, Houston? Are you going to throw down a blanket, take your shoes off, and camp out in front of the Mars stage all day, hopping up intermittently for bathroom breaks and a huge slice of pizza?
Are you going to roam around and try a little bit of everything in small amounts?
Want my advice? Don’t commit to either! Play it smart and map something out with the FPSF app, but don’t etch anything in stone. This is a festival, after all. A festival in Houston, put on by Houstonians. You’d be doing yourself a disservice by committing to any one section of Eleanor Tinsley Park.
You don’t want to be stuck waiting in line for a mediocre sub from Jersey Mike’s when you could be grabbing a Vietnamese sandwich.
But where to begin? There are plenty of choices this year, and you don’t want to be stuck waiting in line for a mediocre sub from Jersey Mike’s when you could be grabbing a Vietnamese sandwich from the MuSuBi food truck . . .
To assist you in your Free Press Summer Fest 2013 experience, here is my humble compilation of food, drink and assorted concessions to get you started. You’ll be glad you discovered these this weekend.
Crafty, classic suds in a refillable tin mug etched with the FPSF logo? Can’t miss! This booth was a hidden gem on Saturday last year, but by Sunday, everybody and their mother armed themselves with those 36-ounce tin mugs and lined up all day long for some delicious Sarsaparilla Six-Shooters and Outlaw Orange sodas.
Buy a mug on Saturday before the lines get too long, and just like they tell you in the voting booth, refill early and often. Look for the booth buried between all sorts of food goodness along the main drag between the festival stages. You are bound to hear some good music while you’re waiting for an ice cold soda pop.
Food trucks are parking at the festival this year! This move seems like a no-brainer, and I’m very happy to see the food truck community taking an active role at Free Press Summer Fest. As for my personal favorite, MuSuBi will be parked directly across from the Neptune stage near the Taft entrance, so you don’t have to miss Geto Boys' set while waiting for a crispy baguette full of ginger garlic meatball with sweet Vietnamese chili sauce. A family recipe, I’m told. Well done, Houston.
Not only is this beer — a Belgian Wit full of bright flavors — perfect for a hot June day in Houston, it also goes far to debunk the myth that a music festival experience has to include crappy, overpriced beer. Keeping FPSF local is what this weekend is all about, and I’m thrilled to hear that Saint Arnold Brewing Company is doing this. You can find these beers in the Fancy Pants tents as well as the craft beer wall on the festival grounds.
In the spirit of its name, I’m inviting you to enjoy White Noise with me while listening to the blistering sonic assault coming from the Jupiter stage during A Place To Bury Strangers’ set on Saturday evening.
(Pro Tip: A little bird named Lennie tells me that using the hasthag #WhiteNoiseatFPSF or posting pictures on Saint Arnold's Facebook wall while enjoying the beer might just give you a shot at a nice prize.)
There is often a time at a festivals when, inevitably, you might crave some sweet munchies. When that happens, Look to the cookie! Tiff’s Treats is there for you this year, Houston. Their brick and mortar shop at Greenway Plaza has been a personal favorite of mine for a while now, so when I saw their name on the FPSF app this year, I couldn’t resist.
Trust me, after toughing out two days of sweltering heat and the dizzying effects of music on music on music, you deserve a cookie. They will be offering a few of their classic cookie recipes near the Saturn stage as well as their ice cream filled Tiffwich sandwich and their brownie-forward masterpiece, the Tiffblitz.
I have it on good faith that the guys from Greenway and Blacksmith are offering their fantastic coffee drinks to the Paul Walls and the Chan Marshalls of the world in the artist tent. I feel bad mentioning this one, because it is off limits to fans, but since I’m in that boat too, we can all marvel at this concept together from afar.
At least there are Anvil cocktails in the Fancy Pants tent to sip on. Just imagine if Tom Waits was in the lineup this year! Houston could be in the midst of a recreation of the classic Tom & Iggy vignette from the Jim Jarmusch film Coffee and Cigarettes.
In any case, it’s great that Greenway and Blacksmith are showcasing Houston’s coffee culture for all of the artists that make this festival possible.