Photo by D Paparazi

Editors' Pick

Best Diet Busters

Russo’s Tower at Heckman’s Delicatessen, Duck Nachos at Gringos & Mariachis, Unbeatable Bar Snacks at Redwood Restaurant and Bar, Buried Corn Dogs at Urban Bar-B-Que

Whether you’re congratulating or commiserating, sometimes you want to indulge. Here are four dishes that are worth the caloric splurge.

Russo’s Tower

Three stories of prime deli meat make up Russo’s Tower, a behemoth of a sandwich named after co-owner Eric Heckman’s neighborhood pal Charlie Russo and his 6-foot-5-inch frame. “He’s half Italian, half Jewish, and eats like no one I know,” Heckman says. House-baked rye separates layers of corned beef, turkey and pastrami (all made in-house) for a total of 10 ounces of meat, plus Swiss cheese and coleslaw.

Heckman’s Delicatessen, 4914 Cordell Ave., Bethesda; 240-800-4879;

Photo by Violetta Markelou

Duck Nachos

After you try the duck nachos at Gringos & Mariachis, you’ll be convinced that chicken is the paltry poultry for south of the border cuisine. An order comes with six crispy mini tortillas topped with shredded duck that’s been braised in orange juice as well as Chihuahua cheese, radish, jalapeño, sour cream and cilantro. This same preparation is popular in Puebla, Mexico, which chef Miguel Linares calls home. The secret to each satisfying bite: Linares leaves the skin on.

Gringos & Mariachis, 4928 Cordell Ave., Bethesda; 240-800-4266;

Photo by Devin Singer Photography

Unbeatable Bar Snacks

Redwood offers a culinary tour of decadent bar bites. You’ll find pierogies stuffed with garlic mashed potatoes, scallions and bacon; Reuben spring rolls, which use chef Randy Mosteller’s mother’s corned beef recipe, melted Swiss and sauerkraut and come with a dipper of Thousand Island dressing; and hard-boiled quail eggs wrapped in bacon and served with spicy maple ketchup. “Who doesn’t love bacon and eggs?” Mosteller asks. Probably the person who has to peel all those tiny eggs.

Redwood Restaurant and Bar, 7121 Bethesda Lane, Bethesda; 301-656-5515;

Photo by Erick Gibson

Buried Corn Dogs

This is the kind of dish that can take you back to childhood state fairs and baseball games, when calories were something only adults worried about. “It’s fat-free until you eat it,” Urban Bar-B-Que co-owner Dave Calkins says. An order consists of two fried all-beef corn dogs smothered in “Redneck Fondue” (a three-cheese dip blended with smoky, brisket-studded chili) and topped with more cheese and green onions. “We’re classically trained chefs used to eating junk food that satisfies late night hunger,” Calkins says.

Urban Bar-B-Que, 5566 Norbeck Road, Rockville; 301-460-0050;