Are you tired of eating the same fast food? Why not travel around the world through eating?
Noodles & Company opened its first restaurant in 1995 in Cherry Creek, Denver, Colorado. It now has 380 establishments in 29 states. It is a fast-casual restaurant with the appeal of full-service attention. The menu consists of American, Mediterranean, and Asian dishes all served on stoneware with stainless steel silverware by the friendly staff, no tips allowed. There is a vast array of fountain drinks, fresh brewed iced tea, organic chocolate milk, beer, wine and bottled beverages to choose from.
When you arrive, you will view the colorful menu on the wall with options for vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, and over 25 meals with less than 500 calories. The combinations are many; you can create your own meal. My daughters’ favorite meal is the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese which is $4.49 for a small or $5.59 for a regular.
The cashiers are friendly, knowledgeable, and there to help you with choosing the right meal for your diet. If you are gluten-free, please let them know. (On the other hand, if you have severe food allergies, take the usual precautions and consider talking to your physician before eating here). A ”V” by the calorie count indicates “vegetarian” and a small red pepper icon tells you it’s spicy. If you prefer vegan, ask for no cream or cheese.
When I arrived on a Tuesday at a Noodles & Company in Rockford, Illinois to order foods to critique, I introduced myself, but not until after I had ordered meals. Since my husband isn’t dieting, we ordered him the BBQ Pork Sandwich with a side of tomato basil bisque. The sandwich has 560 calories and the soup 260 calories a cup for a cost of $6.99. When you order a sandwich, you get your choice of a side salad or soup.
My daughter ordered the Indonesian peanut sauté which is a spicy stir-fry with peanut sauce and rice noodles, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, Asian sprouts, cilantro, crushed peanuts and lime. It is spicy (two red peppers) and vegetarian. A small has 420 calories and costs $4.39. A regular has a whopping 840 calories and costs $5.59. Adding a chicken breast adds another 110 calories and $2.39.
I ordered a regular Japanese pan noodles which I enjoyed; it is somewhat spicy (one red pepper) and vegetarian, with beautiful caramelized udon noodles in a sweet soy sauce, broccoli, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, Asian sprouts, black sesame and cilantro. They recommend adding marinated steak. I ordered a side of Thai curry soup with yellow coconut curry broth, spinach, cabbage, mushrooms, tomato, red onion and rice noodles with 230 calories, vegetarian and marked with one red pepper for spiciness. They also recommend adding organic tofu.
My favorite meal is The Med sandwich (one red pepper) for $5.99, 330 calories, a side of tomato basil bisque and a blackberry jasmine green iced tea. You can ask for this to be vegetarian.
On the negative side: the meals at Noodles & Company have a lot of sodium, and the building can be cold; take a sweater or jacket.Powered by Sidelines