What's New at Off the Grid: Fort Mason (and Presidio Picnic Returns)

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Fritas from Cuban Kitchen. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Jian bing from Tai Chi Jianbing. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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Opening night just getting underway at Off the Grid: Fort Mason. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Last Friday, I got to check out some of the new vendors at Off the Grid: Fort Mason Center, which just started back up. A few highlights: fans of Cuban cuisine who just can’t find a decent Cubano in this town (raises hand) will definitely want to swing by the Cuban Kitchen tent. Founder Lynna Martinez makes a really good one, and I really fell for her fritas: little pork burgers with a smoky, chorizo-like heat from the pimenton she uses, with housemade habanero pickles and crispy little french fries tucked in there. You want this.

You can also try the Chinese street treat jian bing from Tai Chi Jianbing—it’s like an eggy crêpe with fun fillings inside, and they care about using organic ingredients. El Porteño is back with their empanadas, and Pretzelina is serving authentic Bavarian-style pretzels with beer cheese. You can stay hydrated with a fresh coconut from CORE Kitchen, or bring it over to neighbor Rye on the Road and have it spiked with some booze. (Or you can go for one of Rye on the Road’s boozy hot toddies—it hits the spot on a chilly and windy SF night.) And of course a bunch of regulars will be returning, from Johnny Doughnuts to Curry Up Now, and don’t miss the wood-fired pizzas from A16—check the schedule for the latest.

Music will also continue to be a part of the event, with live bands from 8pm-10pm. Every Friday 5pm-10pm through October.

Mark your calendar and get ready for Presidio Picnic to start on Sunday March 19th, returning for its fifth season with The Presidio Trust. Food, drinks, music, lawn games, fun with the kiddies…the bases are covered. Plus groups can pre-order food this year (check the site).

New to Presidio Picnic this year are A’repa, Belgian Frites, Bi-Rite Creamery, Farm Stand Lemonade, Hookt Mini Doughnuts, Jackrabbit, Falcon, Marla Bakery, Ocean Oyster Company, Senor Sisig, and True Jerky. Returning vendors include Ceviche & Co., Cochon Volant, Del Popolo, DUM Truck, Early Bird Tacos, El Sur Empanadas, Fine & Rare, Grilled Cheez Guy, Little Green Cyclo, Nopalito, Sam’s Chowder, Slightly Skewed, Tex Mex, The Whole Beast, and Wings Wings. Main Parade Ground, Sundays through October, 11am-4pm.