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Photo by Troy Fields

Uyghur Bistro

Photo by Troy Fields
Despite wobbly service, including delays, missed dishes, missed drinks and unavailable items on the halal menu, Uyghur Bistro still has much to offer. Prices are reasonable, portions are so generous it’s nearly ridiculous, and the staff is kindly even if they forget things sometimes. Bring friends; you’ll need the help, or you’ll end up with a lot of leftovers. The Uyghurs are an ethnic minority group indigenous to the Xinjiang region, and the cuisine was deeply influenced by the spice trade along the historical Silk Road. For those who enjoy spicy foods, the Big Plate chicken and spicy noodles will be intriguing and satisfying. The Big Plate chicken, especially, is full of tongue-tingling Sichuan peppercorns. Dig deep, for underneath rough chunks of bone-in roasted chicken and red, oily sauce is a treasure of thick, uneven, chewy noodles made in-house. Beef kebabs, rolled in a dry seasoning mix of sesame seeds, pepper flakes, caraway and cumin seeds, are a great deal: $4.80 for two skewers. Shy types might want to steer toward the pretty standard gong bao (a.k.a. “kung pao”) chicken. Better still, aim for the lamb shank-topped, garliky polo, or pilaf. There are no alcoholic beverages and BYOB is not allowed, as the Uyghurs are predominantly Islamic and most interpretations of the Quran indicate that the consumption of alcohol is forbidden.

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