The Seven Most Essential D.C. Restaurant Dishes of 2016

ThaiPhoon shrimp via Ruby Tuesday's Facebook page

Thai Phoon shrimp via Ruby Tuesday's Facebook page

Inspired by the Washington Post’s "40 most essential D.C. restaurant dishes of 2016" (Shafout at Marib! Ayote con queso pupusa at Pupuseria El Comalito! Khao soi gai at Baan Thai!), the Washington Free Beacon is proud to offer up its own list for our hard-working readers.

The Spicy Italian at Subway

Subway's spicy Italian sub

Spicy Italian sub via

Abbondanza! It starts with tender slices of salami and pepperoni, add in provolone, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mayo, oil and vinegar, and oregano—why, who’s the sandwich artist here? Da Vinci? Because you got yourself a masterpiece.

NOTE: WFB does not recommend the turkey sub, which former spokesman Jared Fogle claims hypersexualized him. And you thought turkey makes you sleepy!

Subway, multiple locations.

Mayan Chicken Harvest Hot Wrap at Au Bon Pain

Au Bon Pain's Mayan Chicken Harvest Wrap

Au Bon Pain's Mayan Chicken Harvest Wrap via

We saw Apocalypto, too, and never noticed any chicken being eaten. But this flavorful combination of chicken, black beans, roasted corn, and cheddar inside a whole wheat wrap took us by surprise like that giant hornets’ nest. And to find this, in all places, at such a fancy French bistro—ooh la la!

Au Bon Pain, mutiple locations.

The Surf & Turf at McDonald’s

McDonald's Surf and Turf

Credit: McDonald's Facebookpage

When you can’t get your hands on a lobster and filet mignon, we recommend the next best thing: a Big Mac and a Filet-O-Fish. No lobster bib needed! And at 930 calories, believe it or not, it’s only slightly more unhealthy than a large Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino (600 calories plus shame for ordering such a drink).

McDonald’s, multiple locations.

The Burrito at Chipotle

A Chipotle burrito via Chipotle's Facebook page

Credit: Chipotle's Facebook page

Why make a run for the border when you can just have the runs? This Chipotle burrito really packs a punch—to your stomach! We kid because we love. As King of the Hill’s Buck Strickland once said, "We’re going to have to finish this meeting in the bathroom. My breakfast burrito is fixin’ to say adios."

Chipotle, multiple locations.

Thai Phoon Shrimp at Ruby Tuesday

ThaiPhoon shrimp via Ruby Tuesday's Facebook page

ThaiPhoon shrimp via Ruby Tuesday's Facebook page

Sometimes you just want to say Phuket. As in, I wonder what popcorn shrimp would taste like in Phuket, Thailand? You can find the answer to this question at Ruby Tuesday, where the popcorn shrimp are drizzled in a spicy-sweet chile sauce. And like some things in Thailand, these bite-size delicacies … oh, never mind.

Ruby Tuesday, multiple locations.

Roast Pork Egg Foo Young at China Garden

China Garden's dining room via China Garden Facebook page

China Garden's dining room via China Garden Facebook page

Until that time-traveling DeLorean is built, step inside China Garden for a taste of the Orient from years gone by. And by the Orient, we mean a Chinese restaurant in America, ca. 1972. When was the last time you had Chow Mein, Chop Suey, or a Mai Tai? The Nixon administration? China Garden’s roast pork egg foo young is a must. One bite into this fluffy Asian omelet—with the brown gravy—and you’ll suddenly have the urge to pilot a J-10 fighter and taunt your American adversaries.

China Garden, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va.

Bratwurst at Heavy Seas Alehouse

Credit: Heavy Seas Alehouse Facebook page

Credit: Heavy Seas Alehouse Facebook page

Avast, Matey! Drop your anchor at the Heavy Seas Alehouse, where cold pints and a basket of "peg leg" fish and chips await you—although the bratwurst was our real favorite. We dare you to find a better brat and beer. You’ll have the best of times—and the wurst of times. Plus, enjoy the people watching. Is that Sonny Bunch sipping a Loose Cannon IPA? Shiver me timbers!

Heavy Seas Alehouse, 1501 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, Va.