By Jing Mendez
If you are looking for a real taste of hot, authentic dishes and have a high tolerance for spicy food, the authentic Chinese hot-pot at You and Mee Noodle House will surely wake your taste buds up. In what used to be a Subway restaurant in Boulder, this small – with a 50-seat capacity – but cozy eatery is owned by a family of Chinese immigrants. Situated along Broadway and sitting adjacent to the University of Colorado, You and Mee is a good hangout place for college students and employees at the University, as well as the surrounding community. The first time I stumbled upon this restaurant, it was appalling since the food – pad thai – I ordered was too greasy and salty. Despite that terrible encounter, I went back after a couple of months with a group of friends and ordered their popular hot pot, and that time, the food was superb. Its location, customer service, food quality and price affordability have led me to give this place a review.
It is located on the hill (short for University Hill), which is the best hangout place for local and international students and Boulderites alike. It is very convenient, especially for people who are always in a hurry, since it is just along the road fronting a local RTD bus station, and the back of it has a huge parking lot where diners can park for free on a weekend. Despite being surrounded with many businesses, You and Mee Noodle House is known since it’s the only Chinese restaurant on Broadway that serves authentic Chinese food. In addition, 70 percent of international students at CU campus are Chinese, it’s no surprise why the restaurant is always packed full of raucous Chinese students, especially during the weekend.
The friendly, smiling guy at the front desk was very accommodating and responsive to customer’s need, making sure everyone doesn’t feel ignored. The only downside in this restaurant was the lack of manpower. Whenever they got busy, customers would wait a little longer before food was served.
It was on a cold winter afternoon when we bumped into this restaurant. The warm soothing broth of the soft, juicy and steamy soup dumplings with a tender meatball inside left us drooling. Unsurprisingly, it’s been the favored appetizer by most of their customers. What’s really appealing in this restaurant, though, was their authentic Chinese hot pot. Served in a divided metal pot, filled with a tongue-tingling simmering spicy soup base, which is a combination of hot chilies, peppers, red chili oil and dry seeds over a portable butane burner, this blistering spicy hot pot with the lavish platters of thinly sliced rare steak and fat beef, fresh crisp lettuce, vermicelli noodles, mussels and shrimp on the side was simply a mouth-watering and diet crushing for me and my friends. The complimentary green tea mochi ice cream was perfect to cool our tongues and mouths after a spicy feast-like dinner. By the way, they don’t use MSG in their food.
Their menu offers a very reasonable price, especially for students who are hesitant to shell out their money for food. Lunch menu prices range from $9 to $14. If you’re a stir fry noodle fanatic, you can get a full meal of their soft and chewy combo drunken noodles mixed with spicy chili peppers, bean paste, fish sauce and a combination of beef, chicken and shrimp for only $10.45. However, if you’re a person who can’t stand to not have soup in your meal, you can try their flavorful traditional Old Friend ($9.80) made of rice noodles with minced garlic, fermented black beans, thin-sliced pork and sautéed sour bamboo shoots that add a firmer texture to the noodles. The succulent boiled fish ($11.95), a marinated fish filet cooked in seasoned water and topped with whole red chili pepper and onions, with a side of rice would satisfy one’s empty stomach. But if you are into food trip with a group of friends or family, I would suggest trying their hot pot, where you can get a fancy meal for $30 or more depending on the ingredients you put into it.
I gave this restaurant a B grade, because even though this may not be the best restaurant in Boulder, and despite some greasy food they serve, people still come back, because it’s affordable and the place is very convenient. If you want to explore a spicy authentic dish with friends and loved ones, try You and Mee’s stunning hot pot, as it will surely leave you a memorable great experience.