Prepared "con todo," or "with everything," one common style of esquites (ess-Key-taze, $3) fills a cup with sauteed kernels of corn, a slather of mayo, a substantial layer of grated salty cheese, a squeeze of lime juice, and a dusting of chili powder. At this streetside operation, the corn is ladled from one of two orange insulated tubs; the other tub holds a "spicy" version, the proprietor called it.
Judging by the cups of other customers, this runnier, greener version (epazote may get credit for the color) is meant to be served without toppings. It doesn't have much more of a kick than the classic version, though in fairness that first spoonful also entailed an accidental snootful of chili powder. Mixing all the ingredients of that fully loaded (and tastier) cup is a less perilous approach, but you'll need to partially excavate your esquites before your spoon has room to maneuver.
Update: Lesley Tellez of The Mija Chronicles observes that the second cup contains not esquites but a chileatole. Like most atoles it has a cornmeal base; pureed chiles are the other defining ingredient. Some chileatoles include chocolate and sugar, and can be (relatively) sweet, but the cupful shown here is one of many savory varieties, employing the corn kernels that the esquites vendor would already have on hand.
54th St. west of Fifth Ave., Sunset Park, Brooklyn