Fóumami: the story behind our name

Is Fóumami a real name — and why is Buddha jumping over the wall? Fóumami is a contraction that loosely translates to “what Buddha finds to be most delicious.”

The “Foo” Part: “Foo” is the Chinese word for Buddha. According to age-old Chinese folklore, a local villager was cooking a meal near a Buddhist monastery. As the wind carried the scent of the meal afar, it caught the attention of Buddha. The smell of the food was so enticing that Buddha, despite his strict vegetarian diet, would sneak out of the monastery by jumping over its wall to steal a taste.

The “Umami” Part: While it may have taken seconds for Buddha to scale the wall, it took more than a century for scientists to concede Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda’s theory that a fifth basic taste existed beyond sweet, salty, sour and bitter. “Umami” (a loanword from Japanese meaning “flavor” or “taste”) refers to a savoriness or depth of flavor that is often derived from combining and reducing down the components of one food — or many.

Fóumami is a contraction that loosely translates to “what Buddha finds to be most delicious”. Customers who come to Fóumami and eat our foods experience first-­‐hand why Buddha was compelled to jump over the wall – meaning that Fóumami serves very delicious foods!

To make our Grilled Ribeye Steak Sandwich at Fóumami truly memorable, we’ll labor over the sauces, oils, vegetables and spices that we put into our homemade Korean barbeque–inspired marinade, instead of getting something out of a bottle. This passion for umami reflects our commitment to creating multi-layered flavors that delight your senses with each successive bite.


“Hours of careful preparation goes into our deeply satisfying food”

Fóumami (pronounced “Foo-mah-mee”) is an inventive Asian sandwich bar that draws its inspiration from the food of China’s Shandong province and the dazzling variety of cooking traditions that continue to flourish throughout the continent. Hours of careful preparation go into deeply satisfying food that we’re able to serve you in minutes.

Whether it’s a recipe that’s been in our family for generations or a delicious spin on an American favorite, Fóumami’s goal is to introduce people to an exciting new variety of Asian tastes and flavors. We offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, to stay or to go; soups and salads that can easily be a main course; and a great selection of specially made hot and cold beverages, snacks, and desserts. There’s also a relaxed, comfortable environment where you just might be tempted to linger – or escape from the office.

Look into our open kitchen and you’ll probably see us making Shao Bing, the delicious earthy flatbread that sets every Fóumami sandwich apart. Crisp and flaky on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside, our Shao Bing heightens the flavor of the sandwich’s ingredients and adds an important layer of taste and texture all its own.

Fóumami believes in giving people the unexpected — and in restoring the classics. So, while you might feel that we’ve miraculously reinvented familiar dishes like Scallion Pancakes and Hot and Sour Soup, the truth is that we’re simply following the straightforward, meticulous recipes that have been in our family for years.


“We’ve been operating great restaurants for three generations”

There really is a family behind everything you eat at Fóumami. From China and South Korea to Japan and the United States, we’ve been operating great restaurants for three generations.

Fóumami is the invention of Michael Wang, whose goal is to bring food lovers closer to earthy, lovingly prepared dishes that Asian families enjoy at home and to-go at the bustling shops and open-air markets that thrive throughout the region.

Michael’s passion and acumen for great food comes directly from his mother, Mei-Ling. Everything we serve is informed by Mei-Ling’s thoroughgoing knowledge of classical Asian culinary techniques and recipes. Whether she’s imparting her own family’s long-recognized expertise about Asian breads, noodles and dumplings or reviewing the thinking behind a dish that Michael has just presented her, Mei-Ling’s input is invaluable.

Michael has also appropriated his favorite comfort food recipe for Fóumami: Mei-ling’s steak sandwich.


  • What does Fóumami mean?
  • Please go to the Our Name section of our website for more information.
  • What is an Asian sandwich?
  • Please go to the Asian Sandwiches section of our website for more information.
  • Does Fóumami offer take-out?
  • Yes. Fóumami is a fast-casual restaurant, and all of our menu items are available for you to take-out.
  • I’m a vegetarian. What can I eat at Fóumami?
  • If you’re in the mood for a sandwich, we would recommend the Atsuage Tofu or any of our other tofu-based sandwiches. If you prefer a salad, any of our salads can be made vegetarian friendly; just order yours without meat (perhaps also sans the egg) or substitute with tofu.
  • Do you offer gift certificates or a loyalty/rewards program?
  • Yes. Please contact our restaurant for more information or to sign up.
  • Do you offer catering?
  • Yes. Please go to Catering for more information.
  • What’s the difference between catering and delivery?
  • If you place a take-out or delivery order, you will receive individually wrapped sandwiches, salads, or soups with side dishes and other menu items portioned for one. However, if you place a catering order, the food is served in a manner which is meant to be enjoyed by a larger group of individuals. Also, catering orders are packaged more aesthetically, and provide options for including specialty off-menu food items.
  • Your FAQ does not answer my question?
  • We apologize, but perhaps your question may not be all that common. Please go to the Feedback section of our website and contact us with your question.