So Noodles is my go to lunch spot these days. It's quick and sorta cheap and I don't feel uncomfortable eating there by myself. With my hour lunch/dinner break I have plenty of time to eat and usually some extra minutes for errands. I posted about Noodles & Company back in '08 but since I still eat there pretty much once a week, I figure a recap wouldn't hurt. Plus I've got some pictures to post!
These days I mostly order the trio. That's a small bowl of pasta/salad/soup with a protein and a side salad or cup of soup. It's tons of food, and some variety, for around $10 with a fountain drink. My fave combos are Caesar Salad w/ParmesanCrusted Chicken and cup of Tomato Basil Bisque OR Pesto Cavatappi w/Parmesan Crusted Chicken and side Caesar Salad OR Japanese Pan Noodles w/Tofu and side Garden Salad OR Mac and Cheese w/Braised Beef and cup of Chicken Noodle Soup.
Lately the Penne Rosa has been particularly delicious, with extra creamy sauce that's a smidge spicy. But I've been disappointed with the Pesto Cavatappi recently. It seems like in the past they used a lot more pesto and lately it's been kind of bland. You can order "extra sauce" but that costs a whole extra dollar...
I didn't think I liked Caesar Salad until recently, but now I kind of love it. All thanks to Noodles and their no-risk side salads. It tastes like Noodles' dressing uses real anchovies which makes it extra delicious. Sometimes they do over-dress the salad, but still, yummy. I also love the Tomato Basil Bisque. It's my perfect version of tomato soup. Creamy but still fresh tasting with small bits of garlic throughout. It's perfect with Noodles' warmed and buttered Ciabatta Roll.
If I'm feeling like a little healthier option I get the Japanese Pan Noodles, usually with tofu. I like the thick chewy noodles and how they get crispy and carmelized. Sometimes I wish there were more veggies in the mix, there's usually just a some chunks of carrot, a few pieces of broccoli, and some yummy mushrooms.
Noodles' main negative is their inconsistency, occasionally the soup comes out lukewarm or the pasta is under-sauced. Though overall I think the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. The food is fast, hot, and tasty. That's pretty much all I need most days.
Noodles & Company
Bloomington Von Lee
517 E. Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47408
Phone: (812) 323-1400