I’ve been amped about the new Noodles & Company since I saw the word “Noodles” on the sign on the front of the building. Will I eat anything with noodles? Absolutely. Does the word alone make me salivate? Embarrassingly so. But nonetheless, bring on the noodles!

Yes, please. A thousand times over!

I won’t lie, I did some research on Noodles’ website. Mostly because I didn’t want to go calorie overboard at lunch when I’ve been trying to eat better. Plus, the first time to a restaurant, why not try the healthier options? Unfortunately, I can’t say great things about their site. It was pretty confusing. They have this annoying magnifying glass thing that I’m sure someone thought was cool. But the truth is it’s annoying. And the portion sizes for trios don’t seem to be listed or explained very well. They say to try trios, but don’t explain what they are.

There also wasn’t specific notations on what was and wasn’t spicy. This is important to me because I WANT spicy. On the other end of the spectrum, though, it would be nice to note for those who want to avoid it. That’s a small complaint, though.

So I armed myself with a vague idea of what I was going to get. And when I got into the restaurant found their trios are one noodle dish (if I read right, it’s ANY noodle dish) with a protein (beef, chicken, tofu, shrimp), and a choice of salad or soup. The list of salads you can choose from is limited. This was fine with me. I was interested to try their Thai Curry soup and at the last minute switched to their Japanese Pan Noodles because their Bangkok Curry wasn’t spicy. I know it sounds like curry overload anyway. And it ended up being 100 calories more (so 590 total calories for lunch instead of 490).

I ended up adding Sriracha to both to liven them up a bit. But other than that, they were good. And to be fair, I normally like stuff pretty spicy. All in all, the price wasn’t bad ($7.50 for a trio), the food was good and fast, and since it’s fast food, you don’t have to tip. That sounds really awful, but I like to saving tipped eating for dinner. (Which means mostly I bring my lunch, otherwise it’s a lot of delicious, yet caloric fried food.)

This is a conundrum because now Jimmy John’s and Noodles are VERY convenient to work, quick, reasonable, and YUMMY! I’ll definitely go back. If I take it to go, I’ll keep some Sriracha at my desk, though.

Has anyone else been? I was outwardly jealous of anyone who got the mac and cheese. It looked DELICIOUS, but calorie-wise was almost double the Bangkok Curry. My dream meal would have been the mac and cheese and tomato bisque soup.

There are two registers (one isn’t naturally easy to see or know is available, so I watched an employee constantly walk back and forth telling customers she could help them – although I won’t complain about the second register, no register at all would have been worse!). You get your own drinks, but they deliver the food to you. The layout of the restaurant is kind of a tight squeeze, especially since employees are delivering food to your table.I saw one person cringe in fear as an employee squeezed between two tables, tray overhead.

So far it’s been pretty busy, but they move the line fast and make everything to order. So if you don’t want something, say you don’t want it. The employees were very friendly, patient with new customers, and helpful when you didn’t understand something. Although, the menu’s very straight-forward in the restaurant itself (it was much more confusing online), so I don’t think there will be confusion with ordering.

Japanese noodles with chicken. The chicken is the “pancake looking thing.” I wasn’t impressed with the chicken. It wasn’t tough or anything, but reminded me of that pre-cooked stuff you just have to warm up.

Pad Thai. Again with chicken.

Chicken noodle soup

Japanese pan noodles with beef. I definitely think beef is a winner over chicken.

Thai curry soup. This was too sweet for me as-is, but once I added some spice, it was delicious.

Close-up of the soup. Yum! Definitely need to try some curry-cookin’ of my own!

My Japanese pan noodles after I cut up the chicken, stirred everything up and added some Sriracha. YUM!

Editor’s note: Crap! I just realized the chicken added 130 calories to my meal. Bringing the grand total up to a whopping 720 calories! YIKES! OK, not going to frequent this place. I don’t think the small noodle dish alone (even with protein) would have kept me full. This will definitely be a special occasions spot. Not that I’ve mentioned nutrition in any of my other posts, and chain restaurants do have the disadvantage of having nutrition posted. But, 720 is almost half of what I’m supposed to eat in a day. I can get a McDouble and a caramel sundae from McDonalds for $2 and 730 calories. Yikes.

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