Saturday, July 12, 2008

Noodles & Company

A Noodles & Company location recently opened on Erwin Road, across from Duke's West Campus. Yes, it is a chain. If you can get beyond that and think of it as fast food, or something close to it, then that's sometimes easier to swallow. It's too bad that they don't have a drive-through window.

They have three different categories of noodles, Asian, Mediterranean and American and then they have four dishes in each category. You can choose a a type of meat or tofu that can be mixed in with that. You could also order a soup or a salad.

I had Japanese pan noodles with tofu, broccoli and shitake mushrooms and it was actually quite good. I'm starting to actually eat shitakes, which is quite a breakthrough for me, but it confirms that my general dislike of mushrooms is due to their texture, as I've suspected all along. The dish was a little on the salty side for me, but it was within normal limits. The small portion was perfect and cost only $5.95.

They have a nice selection of drinks, including IZZE, as you can see surrounded by the ethereal glow in the photo above.

This was the pad thai, with chicken and it was apparently reasonably good. One important question is whether it makes sense to get your noodles here or go to Chai's Noodle Bar & Bistro, an independent noodle place, just down the street. Chai's fare is exclusively Asian, so that may help you decide, but otherwise I'd say it would depend on the individual dish. I've been to Chai's oodles of times and they can probably serve your meal even faster, but some of their dishes are better than others, as is the case with almost all restaurants. I love their Udon noodle soup, but I'd probably go to Noodles & Company to get pad thai.

Another positive thing is that according to one reader, AH, the few dishes that are labled as spicy at Noodles & Company actually are. I know I've been to several restaurants lately, such as Rockfish, where they claimed to have an unusually spicy dish and it was barely hot at all.

1 comment:

  1. I love Noodles even though they are a chain. They have them all over WI and it was my old work lunch hang out. I haven't hit the one in Durham yet but I love the Pesto Cavatappi dish.