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foumami

has anyone heard anything about this? it's opened and at 225 franklin street.

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  1. It's an Asian sandwich bar that seems to be mostly a takeout place, though they have some indoor and outdoor dining. Looks like influences are Japanese, Chinese, and Korean for the most part.

    4 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston

      ;o) that much i heard.... wondering if anyone has tried it. i might be willing to take one for the team. getting columbian delivered for lunch today, but later this week might work.

      1. re: eLizard

        I've been there twice now and a co-worker also visited.

        First visit, I tried the "Chinese Cobb Salad". Typical Cobb salad; I'm not sure what about it is supposed to be Chinese. Nice blend of ingredients--bacon, blue cheese, etc--and an enjoyable enough dressing. Good for the most part except that the chicken was strangely dry and somewhat tough.

        My co-worker, the following day, had the Five Spice Brisket salad, which he was not at all happy with. He reported that the brisket was extremely tough, lacked the five spice flavor, and, as listed on the menu, was served "chilled" (a.k.a. ice cold). He was also not pleased with the ratio of greens to meat and other vegetables.

        On my second visit I tried the Japanese Garden Salad and a bowl of napa cabbage and tofu soup. The salad was tasty -- greens topped with apples, mandarin orange, tomato, and cucumber, and paired with a ginger dressing of the type you might expect to receive at a casual Japanese restaurant. Well done in my opinion.

        The soup was merely okay -- chicken broth with a few chunks of tofu and some cabbage floating around. Not especially interesting or flavorful, and a lot more broth than chunks.

        The salads are served with a few slices of scallion pancake, which I rather enjoyed on both visits, although the first time I think it was a bit fresher (crispier) and I received much bigger slices. The soup is not served with anything.

        Price-wise: The salads are around $8.00 each, and I was happy with the value on the Cobb. It makes for an acceptable lunch. Not so happy to pay almost the same price for the garden salad, which includes no protein and therefore isn't really enough on its own (for me, at least). The soup cost around $5.50 and in my opinion was quite overpriced.

        I'll probably give the place one more shot in a couple of months, but given the number of other options in the area I don't expect to become a regular visitor unless things really change.

        1. re: eLizard

          And more importantly, where is the Colombian place?

          1. re: davis_sq_pro

            eastie. punto rojo. if you order enough they'll deliver to the financial district. and thanks for the review!

      2. Totally cracked me up; the name translates to something like "Food the Buddha would have loved", or "tastes the Buddha would have loved",but they're 90% meat! The Buddha was a vegetarian!!!!

        2 Replies
        1. re: galleygirl

          Faux Chinese (meaning the name) - blah. They at least give you a better history on the site about where their name comes from (referring to an actual famous Chinese dish) but then blending this with Japanese, creating a nonsense word? It doesn't translate into anything..unlike what some of the websites/reviews insist.

          Butchering of Asian languages aside, I would be curious on how the food is. Some of the items look good in the pictures, but some look a bit bland. Kudos to them if they can pull this off. Their website reads inspired by Shandong cuisine, but nothing struck me as particularly reminiscent of Shandong, on their menu except maybe the shao bing.

          1. re: kobuta

            i know! before i read the history (and pronunciation guide) i thought it was a pho/umami hybrid word. then after reading the history, i thought the name should be faux-umami.

        2. the thread title made me crack up and i hadn't even clicked it yet

          1. Had a brisket sandwich for lunch today - it was $7.95, the brisket did have five spice flavor, but was dry and a little tough (the tough didn't bother me too much, but the dry did). I think they only give you hot sauce if you ask (next time I will) - I brought it back to work, and saw they hadn't put one of the little containers in. I liked the bread quite a bit, it's like Cosi or Viga, but better. The toppings were cucumber and scallion, and the sandwich came with a small bunch of sweet pickled carrot and celery sticks. I also liked the complimentary scallion pancake wedges they put out. At least I hope they were complimentary, I just took a bunch of them.

            A colleague had the chicken teriyaki sandwich, which she said was quite good, maybe I'll try that next time. I remember thinking in the line that if this is another Pressed Sandwiches kind of place, I'm going to be pissed, and right now, I'm thinking it might be. The size of the sandwich is small for $8, making splitting not an option, and the descriptions of the food make it sound more delicious than it is, and those were my two big beefs with Pressed. I will definitely give them at least one more try, though.

            2 Replies
            1. re: nsenada

              I tried the seared steamed chicken sandwich for lunch today. It's pretty simple - chicken, cucumber, lettuce and cilantro - but tasted quite good. They have squeeze bottles of hot sauce at the counter with the utensils and napkins (it would be great if they had little containers for to-go orders, but I digress). The scallion pancakes (which are indeed complementary) were light and tasty. Overall, I think it's a good addition to the neighborhood - and a nice break from the Cosi-Au Bon-Pain-Sebastian's routine.

              1. re: beb31

                Correction - they do have to go containers for hot sauce (it's a pretty generous amount), you just have to ask for it when you pick up your order. Yes, I went there again today. *hangs head in shame*

            2. I went to Foumami yesterday. Funny about the Buddha. I thought it was a play on "umami".

              I had not heard of this place so I went right for the top of the menu: the braised pork loin sandwich. They have to do a decent job on the first thing listed, right?

              It was decent. The pork was good. The sandwich was not over dressed. I was not sure what to do with a little packet of celery and carrots which they provided when I picked up the sandwich, so I just threw them on the sandwich. Would have liked more cilantro.

              But, for $8, I can go to Mei Sum and get more than two sandwiches, even better tasting, so I probably won't be heading back unless I'm right there (it's a bit out of the way for me). I wouldn't mind trying something else there, though.

              Ugh, just saw the comment about the hot sauce! That would have helped a lot.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Alcachofa

                The name IS a play on umami, which is a Japanese word, while fo is the mandarin Chinese pronunciation for buddha. The "meaning" attributed to the name by the press is incorrect.

              2. I had the sesame noodle salad today and thought it was pretty good. Good flavor, decent sized. This place will definitely go into my rotation, especially since it's open for those who eat lunch after two.

                1. I've been a couple of times now, and I like the place, although they are also obviously still new.

                  The Braised Beef Brisket sandwich was my favorite, and also the most traditional. Very thin, flat sandwich in nice Chinese bing. Quite authentic actually. The brisket was sliced thin, and there were some scallions and cilantro in the sandwich. My only complaint is that it was a little dry. The meat I can understand being cold (well, I would have preferred room temperature rather than right from the refrigerator), but I think the bread should have been warm and moist. The inclusion of two forlorn raw carrot
                  sticks and celery sticks seemed a little odd (kind of like Cosi?) but whatever.

                  Next time I had the Tuna Salad Sandwich. On this the bread was much, much better. Even though I had this one for takeout and didn't eat it until a few hours later, it was still moist and flavorful. The tuna salad filling was nothing special though, but fine.

                  The Grilled Ribeye Steak sandwich was good too, with nicely marinated pieces of steak and onions, in a vaguely Asian sauce. This was helped enormously by adding hot sauce. The bread was nearly as good as on the tuna salad sandwich.

                  I also had the cinnamon iced tea, which was way too heavy on the cinnamon. It tasted like a bad Soo Jeong Gwa (Korean punch) that you get out of a can. Similarly, the Iced Ginger Tea was way to strongly flavored and too sharp, but perhaps some people like that sort of thing.

                  They will apparently have Chinese cookies and Taiwanese-style shaved ice soon, but at the moment they have one dessert, the Tang Bing (literally, sweet bread). This was pretty good --- a warm bing filled with a little bit of brown sugar and dusted the black sesame. It was also a little dry, and much of the sesame came off as I tried to eat it.

                  All in all, a good start. Very nice people behind the counter too; I suspect they'll get faster with a little more practice.

                  As an aside, I had the "Shao Bing with Five Spice Beef Sandwich" from Chung Shin Yuan last Saturday for lunch. This sandwich involves much crispier and flakier bread with many more sesame seeds, but only sliced scallions --- no cilantro. Which one is better? Both are good. The Foumami sandwich is helped by the cilantro, and the bread is more pliable. When their bing is at its best, it would be a close call. The Chung Shin Yuan "sandwich" is eerily consistent.

                  -----
                  Chung Shin Yuan
                  183 California St, Newtonville, MA 02458

                  Five Spices Restaurant
                  1250 Hancock St Ste 126S, Quincy, MA 02169

                  Cosi
                  133 Federal St Ste 101, Boston, MA 02110

                  Foumami
                  225 Franklin St, Boston, MA 02110

                  1. My co-workers report "small, greasy, underfilled sandwiches without much flavor" based on three tries to date for takeout - think I"ll pass for now.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: rlh

                      Went to Foumami today to get another dose of the Seared-Steamed Chicken. When I asked for hot sauce on the side, they gave me two *packets* of watery hot sauce in place of a container of a thicker, sriracha-like sauce. Are they already trying to cut costs? In the immediate area, I'd much rather head to Boston Kebab House than endure a "messy as h*ll if I do, dry as h*ll if I don't" sandwich again.

                      -----
                      Boston Kebab House
                      7 Liberty Sq, Boston, MA 02109

                      Foumami
                      225 Franklin St, Boston, MA 02110

                      1. re: beb31

                        Since my last review I've tried a couple of the sandwiches and I have the same feeling. Dry and pretty much tasteless. The "side dish" promised on the menu? A marinated jalapeno. Not really a side dish -- I ended up chopping it up and putting it on the sandwiches to get some flavor into the equation, which GREATLY improved things.

                        I should have stuck with my proclamation above that I wouldn't try it again for a couple of months; but the place is so close to my office that I keep hoping it will improve...

                        On a positive note, I tried the ginger iced tea a couple of times and really enjoyed it. Nice strong ginger flavor, which I find to be quite refreshing. I can understand why others feel it's a bit too strong (and I agree with regard to the cinnamon tea), but I happen to really love ginger so it works for me.