Years ago, when Gene Siskel was still alive, and he and Ebert were on PBS, they did an episode explaining how they critiqued movies. One of Siskel's rituals was to go to his favorite popcorn store and have them mix up a half and half of caramel and cheese popcorn. Sounds disgusting, but God did it look good. I remember the caramel was a gooey mess that had to be stirred into the popcorn. He mentioned the Popcorn store in a Playboy interview once, but I lost the issue (Get married, and your Playboy collection is the first to go). Does anyone know the name of the Popcorn store and does it still exist, and is the quality still as good as Siskel raved? Or was it ever that good? I'm not going to Chicago anytime soon, but only Chowhounds would understand my curiousity.
Siskel seemed to be obsessed with popcorn. When I lived in Chicago in 1975, he used to rail on his review segment on WBBM about the awful fake butter on popcorn. The head of concessions at a local theater chain, claimed that his customers preferred the fake stuff, and challenged Siskel to a live blind taste testing.
Siskel took the bait and a live tasting was arranged for the evening news. You guessed it. Siskel preferred the fake stuff every time.
re: Dave Feldman
I remember in their Playboy interview Ebert gave his recipe for popping popcorn. He said use a cast iron skillet, and pop the corn in melted butter. Anybody who's ever tried that would get the worst results. Even clarified butter burns before it can reach to a temperture where it can pop corn.
Also remember of their Playboy interview, Siskel saying of Ebert: He'll eat anything slower than him.
You're looking for Garrett's Popcorn Shops. There are several locations in Chicago (670 North Michigan was my usual source for a fix). The stuff is addictive, but take plenty of napkins or you'll have orange goo from the cheese-flavored or grease from the caramel all over your pants.