We have a new commercial development being built near our house. It’s very exciting because there are several new-to-Dayton restaurants being built AND an old favorite of mine, Noodles and Co. I was first exposed to Noodles when it moved in at the Greene (a local mall) and more often than not I would eat there when I went shopping. When I found out Noodles and Co was expanding to Austin Landing, I was pumped. I love their Pad Thai and Curry Soup.
Since I follow Austin Landing’s Facebook page, I learn about all the “soft openings” and “sneak peaks” that happen at their various stores. One such sneak peak was for Noodles. Jeff, Jake, and I, along with a couple friends, were able to sample one free dish per person one night.
As we were eating, Jill, the manager, came over to see how our meal was and to ask us if we’d eaten at Noodles before. I said I had and we got to talking a bit. I explained I was a food blogger and she asked if I’d be interested in doing a tasting. Duh. That was easy.
I invited a few other bloggers and some friends to lunch on a snowy Thursday in March where we were able to sample several of Noodles’ dishes.
We started with a couple flatbreads. The always available Margherita (classic tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella)
and the limited time only Fig and Pig (described as “caramelized onions, naturally-raised, slow-braised pork, crumbled feta and Parmesan cheese on a toasted flatbread, drizzled with Balsamic Fig-infused oil and topped with more feta cheese and an Arcadian lettuce mix” on their website). This was hands down the best thing I tried during the lunch.
Pumpkin, one of my fellow blogger’s daughters, wasn’t too sure of the “pizza” but tried it anyway.
Next up was the Penne Rosa, a penne pasta tossed in a spicy marinara, topped with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. A delicious, classic choice, albeit a bit spicy.
To cool off our palettes, Jill brought out their Mac and Cheese with Parmesan Crusted Chicken.
After trying a bit, she asked us if we liked spicy. “Try it with Sriracha,” she said. Boy, lemme tell ya. It gives a seriously good flavor to the already yummy dish! I have been back since and ordered mac and cheese (instead of my Pad Thai staple, mind you) and doused it in Sriracha. Stuff is good, man…
To bring in some of their Asian influenced, the Bangkok Curry was next. This dish was a mixture of rice noodles, veggies, and sweet coconut curry sauce over a bed of cabbage.
To be honest, this wasn’t my favorite dish. It wasn’t bad and I for sure ate my serving, but I probably won’t be ordering it for myself in the future.
Alongside the Curry, she served up the Med Salad, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a Mediterranean influenced salad with tomatoes, onions, olives, feta, and vinaigrette.
One cool thing about Noodles is they offer a “World Map” of choices you can make at their restaurants for under 500 calories!
This Bangkok Curry and Med Salad combo was one of those options. If I had had those two complete dishes as my lunch, I would have been pleasantly full.
Steak Stroganoff was up next. This dish was traditional egg noodles covered in a creamy stroganoff sauce topped with seasoned steak and Parmesan. Because several of us were sharing one dish, I don’t think I got very much of the sauce so my bites were a little bland. But the sauce I did taste was yummy!
The next Asian dish we had was the Japanese Pan Noodles, which I’d had before. Veggies, udon noodles, and bits of steak were tossed in a deliciously sweet sauce. I loved this one and kept going back for more little bites. YUM!
Next up was the Pad Thai. We all know I love Pad Thai, so of course I loved this one. I’ve gotten it more times than I can count and am definitely a fan.
Finally it was time for dessert! In all the time I’ve been coming to Noodles, I only ever thought they had their jumbo rice krispy treats (they’re right there on the counter). When Jill brought out the trio of treats, I was floored!
First, I tried the Chocolate Espresso Cake. I love chocolate, but sometimes it’s a bit rich for me. This was a very rich cake and I was satisfied with just a small bite of it. Jeff would have gobbled that whole thing up though.
Next, I tried the Carrot Cake. When I was in the hospital after I gave birth to Jake, I probably at a piece of carrot cake each day because the hospital’s cake was that good. This was a close second.
Finally, I sampled the Tres Leche cake. MMMMMM. It was so yummy. We each had a taste of the desserts and then one person would get the final bite. I got the final bite of this one. I savored every second of it too. It was delicious!
I already knew I was a fan of Noodles and Co, but with this tasting I love it even more. They have so many good options and are conscious of people’s desires to eat healthier. All the nutritional values are on their website, so you can plan before you go too. With that World Map, it really makes it easy!
They have something for everyone, even the pickiest eaters like my little guy. Their associates are very friendly and go out of their way to help, coming around to check on your meal periodically. They even bus the tables for you!
I want to thank Jill for bringing us in for a fabulous lunch on a dreary Thursday morning. It was very nice and pleasant. I think I speak for everyone when I say we all enjoyed it.
So if you’re in the area, stop in and grab a meal! It’s a fabulous place.