Behold our annual 100 Favorite Dishes countdown! Every day until the publication of our fantabulous Best Of Issue, we'll list our favorite meals this year in descending order. Enjoy, pass it on, and tune in daily!
Ruby's Diner is an Orange County original. It's an anti-greasy spoon. You can spot the red and white striped uniforms and practically hear the Shooby Dooby Down jingle as you walk by. It's a clean, well-lit place with classic tunes and a nostalgic vibe. We take them for granted because it's a chain, but they're also a functional brand that families and groups can scoot to when full-service, All-American grub is requested.
We didn't think they would ever try to improve upon what wasn't broke, but we're glad they did. It began earlier this year, when Ruby's started scooping ice cream dreams crafted by Santa Cruz-based Marianne's out of their Laguna Beach spot. It was a perfect match, instantly upgrading a standard dessert selection. The inspiration to carry them came from a fateful visit to Marianne's a decade ago. Founder Doug Cavanaugh tasted the best darn ice cream he ever had. An all-natural product, their 125 flavor arsenal includes Cantaloupe and Cardamom Pistachio. Only a dozen tastes are currently offered at Laguna and Huntington Beach, but the 17th Street location in Costa Mesa will be carrying them soon enough. Eventually, all locations will feature this ice cream.
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So how did we decide on a favorite? Simple. It was the one that incorporated our three favorite sweets: Oreos, fudge and caramel. A triple threat, if you will. Usually, we're lucky to find two of these blended in a gimmicky flavor. All three? It was a sign. Its unusual name is from Marianne's Ice Cream shop address, 1020 Ocean Street. While this Weekling prefers salty and savory, the combined tastes of brownies, caramel squares and Oreo cookies are bliss. Can't beat all our childhood faves sharing one spoonful.
49. Chile Relleno Pretzel Cheeseburger at OC Fair 50. Lunch at Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland 51. Pescado A Lo Macho at Muelle Peruvian Cantina 52. Cemita de Milanesa at La Cemita Poblana 53. Meatballs and Polenta at 320 Main 54. Shellfish (Ốc) at Hien Vuong Da Kao 55. Basic Bol at Boldo Bol 56. Bang Bang Shrimp at Bonefish Grill 57. 10-Item Plate at Thuan Kieu Noodle & Grill 58. Leche Frita at Cafe Sevilla 59. Happy Hour Sushi at Ginzaya 60. Red Beans and Rice at Disneyland's French Market 61. Consommé from Tacos y Birria El Güero 62. Fried Chicken Biscuit Sandwich at Little Sparrow 63. Breakfast Taco at Sapphire Laguna 64. Husky Burger at Husky Boy Burgers 65. Love Bagel from Koffee Klatch 66. Kouign Amann From The Crema Cafe & Bakery 67. Chili Lime Popcorn From Green Tomato Grill 68. PB & J At Hopscotch 69. Takuwan Sushi from AnQi by Crustacean 70. Ube Ensaymadas from The Ensaymada Project 71. Pork Bánh Mì at the OC Poultry and Rotisserie Market 72. Tacos Gobernador from Mariscos Los Corales 73. Dutch Baby at the Original Pancake House 74. Doughnuts from Sidecar 75. Lengua Tacos at La Chonita 76. Oysters from Carlsbad Aquafarm at the Orange Homegrown Farmers Market 77. Lemon Miso Crab Melt at Umami Burger in Laguna Beach 78. Pani Puri from Adya 79. The Pocket at the Pocket Burger 80. Gyro Sandwich from Paul's Place 81. Slice of Heaven at Pie-Not 82. Taquitos at El Toro Bravo 83. Peanut Butter and Jelly Donut at the Donuttery 84. Dan Dan Mian at Wei-Shian Noodle 85. Beef Burger at Rider's Club Café 86. Smoked Trout at Provenance 87. Small Plates at A&J Restaurant 88. Corn Cheese at Zoomak Asian Bistro 89. Pumpkin Curry at Bhan Baitong 90. Poke at Costco Tustin II 91. Pambazo at Tacos Radioactivos 92. Beef Pho at Pho Crystal Noodle House 93. Breakfast Burrito from Cafe Calacas 94. Koobideh Plate from Grill Cafe 95. Tacos de Cecina from Alebrije's 96. Jajangmyeong from Ching Chinese Express 97. Breakfast Sausage from Da-Le Ranch 98. Any Special Dinner by Old Vine Cafe's Mark McDonald 99. Tres Amigos Burrito from Piaggio on Wheels 100. Bacon-Wrapped Dates from Lola Gaspar