Gets better with every bite
Gets better with every bite
Anne Marie Panoringan

49. Chile Relleno Pretzel Cheeseburger At OC Fair

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!

There were precisely 23 days of the Orange County Fair this summer. Do you know how many of those I was present for? I'll give one Forker a prize if you guess correctly in the comments.

We experienced a few unhealthy relationships this summer. Among them were the deep fried Doritos, Legendairy peach champagne gelato and a foot-long, pecan-smoked sausage corn dog. However, our truly guilty pleasure involved an item at Grantburgers, located next to the Tasti Chips stand on Livestock Lane. If that doesn't mean anything to you, then look for the end of the Skyride towards Yellow gate next time the fair rolls into town. They will not disappoint.

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Winner of the Best of the Best award in the 2014 OC Fair Concessionaires' Cup Contest, the chile relleno pretzel cheeseburger endured four rounds of judging to be the top food item out of 70 entries.

This beast begins with a base of dense pretzel bun, sturdy to withstand the weight of its contents, and topped with a craveable chorizo patty. A slather of jalapeno jam and sliced avocado shows you where this is headed. Yet we are faked out momentarily by standard tomato and cheese, only later to realize these components are meant to offset our very special guest: a whole chile relleno.

We sang the praises of the burger all summer, pausing only to chow on one with a friend. Mildly spicy, sweet and messy, it satisfied all our burger needs. So messy, devouring one required a picnic table with lots of elbow room to catch occasional bits of patty and drippings. It is a rare day when we go kinda crazy over chile relleno. If you didn't get your hands on one, better luck next time.

The List:

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

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