Collin Howard / Lantern reporter
Prior to this review, I had never actually set foot inside a Noodles & Company restaurant, but I can say that it wouldn’t be my last time. I entered the restaurant, located at the corner of Lane Avenue and High Street, expecting to be served the typical precooked meal that student’s taste buds have grown to accept, but I was wrong.
Upon entering, I was greeted by kind staff members who were eager to serve me and excited to tell me about the dishes that they had to offer. It was a little hard to hear over the music, but I forgot all about that when I was given the opportunity to taste several entrees, courtesy of Noodles & Company. All of the dishes exceeded my aforementioned expectations.
Included were the Bacon, Mac, and Cheeseburger, the Penne Rosa, and my personal favorite, the Japanese Pan Noodles.
The first dish, the Bacon, Mac, and Cheeseburger is pretty much heaven in a bowl. What’s better than combining two of the most indulgent meals, macaroni and cheeseburgers, into one succulent dish? Not much. You can even wash it down with one of several bottled beers or a chilled glass of wine.
Next up was the Penne Rosa. It was a little spicy and a little sweet, and I couldn’t help but notice how it tasted homemade. It was definitely an item that I highly recommend.
The coup de gras of my experience was most certainly the Asian-inspired dish, the Japanese Pan Noodles. The first thing I noticed about the bowl was the color. It was bright and crisp, and the taste was on par with the presentation. It was kind of like pasta and a salad all in one.
Possibly one of the most interesting factors surrounding the restaurant is that it tries to use as many local sources as possible. The bean sprouts upon my pan noodles were grown in central Ohio. Its restaurants span from the West Coast to East Coast, but all collaborate with local farmers before getting products shipped in.
Even so, the taste of the food is remarkably fresh. Everything you order is made right in front of you, and Noodles & Company offers only natural, unprocessed foods on its menu. Even the desserts, cookies and Rice Krispy Treats as big as your head, are made each day.
This restaurant offers something for everyone. They are one of a handful of restaurants that actually offer vegetarian and vegan dishes in addition to its main menu. It prides itself on being able to fulfill the customer’s needs, and by all accounts, it shows.
The meals in this review were provided for free to The Lantern by Noodles & Company.