Four courses to try in Boulder County this weekend

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Matt Cortina

Za Jiang Mian
Zoe Ma Ma
2010 10th St., Boulder, zoemama.com

Zoe Ma Ma continues to be casually great. Their signature za jiang ma is an exercise in developing flavor out of a few simple ingredients. Egg noodles, thick and sweet, are topped with savory chunks of ground pork, which are spiced with peppers and baking spices. Julienned carrots, cucumbers and green onion provide texture to the dish and the house chili sauce is primo. A steamed bun (bao), chewy and indulgent, packed with that spiced pork makes a good accoutrement. No matter how much of this you eat, you’ll want more. $7

Roasted Plum and Dark Chocolate Popsicle
Le Pops
1048 Pearl St., Suite 107, Boulder, lepopsboulder.com

Matt Cortina

The trendiest food in Boulder right now is… popsicles. But not just any popsicles. The fresh flavor and topping-applicable cream and ice pops at Pearl Street’s Le Pops bring in droves of people every day. Unable to avoid it on a hot day, we stopped in for a roasted plum cream popsicle, made with red plums, whole milk, cream, eggs, cane sugar and vanilla extract. It’s dipped in dark chocolate. The popsicle is no doubt refreshing, and the roasted plum flavor is tart and fruity, more like raspberry. The dark chocolate is a superb add-on, thin and creamy, yet punchy and slightly bitter. $4.50

Tartine
Moxie Bread Co.
641 Main St., Louisville, moxiebreadco.com

Matt Cortina

Fans of bagels and lox will want to try its fancy older brother, the Moxie Bread Co.’s tartine. A hearty slice of dark rye, thick and dry though not chalky or bulky, is topped with fresh lox, sprigs of dill, briney and big capers, pepitas, garlic oil, cucumber, cream cheese and a lemon. The lox is mild and piled high, which is good because it blends in with the dank dill, explosive capers and bright lemon. It’s also good because sometimes you get lox so loxy it’s only fit for dolphins and basement creatures. The tartine is dense not only in flavor, but in substantiality, as you’ll be eating it about 10 minutes longer than you thought you would, and you’ll be able to skip the next meal. $8

Oysters Hickenlooper
River and Woods
2328 Pearl St., Boulder, riverandwoodsboulder.com

This delightful, and fresh, take on the baked oyster dish was inspired by a recipe from a member of the Boulder community. Rappahannock River oysters — girthy, silky and smacking of the sweet ocean — are buried in a chile, beer and kale queso, local goat cheese, roasted green chiles and cracker dust. The bite is unctuous and gooey, with so much goodness going on, the tongue takes a while to parse it all out if you care to. If you don’t, it’s easy to ravage several of these in a row without a second thought. Alongside a crisp white wine, it’s a unique and crowd-pleasing appetizer. For more on River and Woods, check out our profile of chef Daniel Asher on page 46. $2.50 each