Long-time readers and basically anyone who has been around me for more than five minutes know how I have bemoaned the utter lack of decent Chinese food in Boulder, Colorado. That is part of the reason you find so many Chinese recipes on this blog – because I can’t get the real stuff where I live unless I make it myself. But hold on there, pilgrim! Ma Ma has come to the rescue.
and you can find her on pearl street
Zoe Ma Ma is a newish Chinese restaurant that opened in 2010 on 10th and Pearl Streets in downtown Boulder. I first noticed it on my way to my favorite sushi bar, which is right next door (Sushi Tora). I looked at the menu with anticipation and suspicion. I’ve had my hopes dashed to the ground countless times in Boulder before. I wondered if this would be any different. When my parents were visiting and we walked past Zoe Ma Ma, my mother looked up at the Chinese characters and said, “Oh! Zoe Ma Ma. Looks interesting.” So right, it’s not Zoe as in zo-ee, but Zoe as in zoh. But everyone calls her Ma Ma. When customers enter, they say “Hi, Ma Ma!” and when they leave they wave “Bye, Ma Ma!” or “Thank you, Ma Ma!” Sometimes you’ll even hear it spoken in Chinese. Yes, the Chinese people in Boulder (all three of them… I’m JOKING!) dine here. That’s a good sign.
this is ma ma
It’s a small restaurant with seating for about 25 people inside and another 8-10 at the bar outside when the weather is nice. I know for a fact if you go right at noon, it can be quite busy. I’ve seen the bar lined with diners happily slurping their noodles as the steam dances up into the sunlight. Walk up to the counter to place your order. Depending on the day of the week, you can also choose the special. On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday you can get a big bowl of Sichuan braised beef noodle soup. On Wednesday and Thursday they serve savory pork belly zong zi (think of it as a Chinese tamale made with pearl rice). Friday and Saturday’s special is roast duck and wonton soup.
ma ma serves homemade organic noodles
I was curious. Very curious. The menu items looked more like the homestyle food I grew up eating and loving rather than the deep-fried, day glo sauce-drowned abominations of the typical Chinese restaurants around town. When I introduced myself to Ma Ma, we spoke in Mandarin and shared our paths. That’s what all Chinese people do when they meet. “Where are you from?” And that, for me, means “Where are your parents from?” because when I say I was born in the U.S. they (they = any Chinese person, especially immigrants) immediately ask if my parents came from China or Taiwan.
jason and i sampled the menu for lunch one day
**Jump for more butter**