Atkins conscious eaters need not apply. Well maybe for a couple things.
Noodles & Company is a relatively new chain that focuses on a single ingredient, noodles, rather than a single style of cuisine. I was originally skeptical about this place, but after a couple years of going I will admit that Noodles is a pretty good, relatively cheap meal and rarely a disappointment. I was also pretty excited to see that a new location was opening mere minutes from my office.
Noodles concept is pretty simple. Their menu is divided into three parts, Asian, Italian and American. From there you have the choice of a couple of different pasta dishes, a salad or a soup. Finally, add your protein and you are off an running. Choices range from Japanese Pan noodles with to Wisconsin Mac and Cheese.
This restaurant appeals to me in lots of ways. First, I am a noodle freak, particularly with Asian flavors. I can never seem to replicate the taste at home. Also, any restaurant with "Chicken Sauce" on the table must be good. For those of you who don't know the the term chicken sauce... well, learn it. Or you could learn the actual name, Sriracha Chili Sauce. It is very spicy, but delicious... but I digress. Noodles also has the whole mix and match thing going for it. For example, I am not sure how many people would put Braised Beef onto Creamy Mac and Cheese, but do you know who does... This Guy.
When I was in grad school, looking for a "home cooked meal" or at least something quick and delicious, noodles was the place to go. I could pick up something that was warm and filling while still being simple affordable. If they had setup WiFi I think Noodle could have been my "Coffee House" of choice.
Adding to the flavor of this place is the website. It is fun and it gets the point across. I like that as well. Noodles has a sense of humor about itself. Most places like this tend to think that they are better than they are, but noodles just keeps it simple.
If you are ever in need of a good fast meal, not that expensive, but full of potential flair give Noodles & Company a try.