Cheap Eats 2016: Queen Amannisa

About Queen Amannisa

320 23rd St S
Arlington, VA 22202
Good for Groups

Never had Uighur food before? You’re not alone. In North America, only a handful of restaurants specialize in the cuisine, which descends from a nomadic band of Turks who settled in northwestern China. The northern Chinese character is immediately evident—the emphasis on stuffed buns and hand-cut noodles, the use of star anise and chilies—but then you dig into the minced meat with noodles. Looks like a typical stir-fry, with peppers and onions, but the Middle Eastern influence eventually reveals itself: The noodles are short and coated in a rich meat sauce. Queen Amannisa isn’t a smooth ride (the pastries are disappointing, and some dishes feel too quickly rendered), but the highs are high, especially a massive tureen that comes across as a cleaning-out of the fridge—bone-in chicken, thick noodles, potatoes, onions, peppers, chilies, all drenched in a fascinating red sauce—but sure doesn’t taste like it.

Also good: Dry spicy noodles; green beans.

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.