67. Chili Lime Popcorn From Green Tomato Grill

Behold the beginning of 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!

My first job was doing concessions in a movie theater. There, co-workers taught me a savory version of what is notoriously buttery. Take a plastic zip bag, fill with corn from the warmer, pump some mustard and shake it like a Polaroid. Umami, tart and darn messy, if not for our polyester penguin suits (everything washed off that vest/pants uniform). It was our unofficial lunch break hack.


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When I asked Kyle Markt about their popped corn, he mentioned that they were trying to come up with a healthy and tasty side to go with a rice bowl. They decided to go with popcorn because chips didn't match the concept. Using minimal oil, fresh lime juice and adobo seasoning (mild chili spices, paprika, onion, garlic, cinnamon, etc.) gave it a unique taste. Plans were for the kitchen to rotate flavors, but chili lime was so popular, they made it a permanent snack.

Not quite as tangy and less fussy, its hints of spice make me reach my hand for more. You can get a lunch bag full of the stuff for a buck. Thanks Kyle, for throwing me back to a time when my biggest worry was getting food stuck in my braces.

The List:

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
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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