Use Your Noodle To Eat Healthy – Noodles and Company

Susan says…

On the way back home from Virginia Beach, Ron & I were bound to get hungry.  Yes, we had an engaging audio book, The Monsters of Templeton, but my tummy started growling louder than the reader could tell the story.  We began looking for a good place to get off the interstate.  Not being in the mood for another Subway sandwich, we stopped in Covington, Virginia near a shopping center.  We drove all the way around, narrowing our choices and finally settled on something new: Noodles & Company.

Initially, the menu was a bit overwhelming.  So many choices, different sizes, some sort of combination-thing which I wasn’t sure how it worked…  We had to let another party go in front of us while we studied further.  Ron was about ready to leave, not in the mood for what he was seeing described on the menu boards, but the Asian-inspired dishes already had me hooked, and he could see it in my face when he made the suggestion to do a 180.

Not only did they offer Asian noodle bowls, but also Mediterranean-inspired creations, and a sinful-sounding mac & cheese.   Overall, the food seemed healthy, with lots of vegetables and the option to add the protein of your choice.  Salads were also available and they complimented the different noodle offerings.

Like I said, they had me at “soy sauce” so I told the man behind the cash register that I would have the regular size Bangkok Curry – coconut curry with broccoli, carrots, red pepper, onion, mushrooms, cabbage and black sesame seeds served over a “light portion” of rice noodles.  To this, I added Chicken Breast for an extra charge.  With a drink, my meal came in around $9. 

We filled our cups with soda, picked up chopsticks and some cute little “chopstick helpers” that I would take home for my girls, and sat in a comfortable booth.  Just a few minutes later, my piping hot noodle bowl was placed before me.  It looked rather large, but as I ate through my meal I realized this would not fill me up.  In fact, my stomach was growling to the point of distracting me from Willie Upton’s search for her biological father in less than two hours. 

The sauce was gently flavored and had a nice mix of veggies – that was my favorite part.  The chicken was pounded thin, I assumed for quick-cooking.  The rice noodles were overdone but not hopelessly.  Overall, I enjoyed my food – it just wasn’t filling.  Maybe I should have also ordered a salad, but that would have pushed my total higher.  What to do, what to do.  It’s a chain…usually chains are pretty good, but not memorable to the point that you say “oh, I’m passing through Convington?  I just MUST stop at that wonderful little noodle place!”  The only chain I can think of that I treat that way is the Cheesecake Factory.  (Had I named Olive Garden, Dan would have disowned me.)

A brochure available at the restaurant suggests low-calorie, low-sodium, low-fat and low-carb choices for folks who are careful about what they put into their bodies.  As you might have guessed, Ron did not care about the brochure.  I, however, thought it was great and was proud of myself that I chose one of the low-carb options before I received the “answer key”.

I think this place is trying to do what Delish did, only Delish was a million times better – oh, how I miss the Udon noodles slathered in sauce and loaded to the rafters with fresh vegetables…

Noodles and Company is a chain you may have an opportunity to visit while traveling (there are no locations listed in WV on their website, but they don’t list the one we visited, either).  If you are looking for a light, healthy meal with kid-friendly dishes, give it a try.  THREE FORKS.

Ron says…

Doesn’t that just look yummy? 

Nope, I don’t think so either. 

Yeah they took a little extra to garnish it and give it some color.. but who eats that sprig?  Or who eats that lime chunk?   No one.  

Indonesian Peanut Saute – spicy peanut sauce and rice noodles with broccoli, carrots and cabbage.  Garnished with bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, lime and cilantro.   But the been sprouts and peanuts are part of the meal so those to me are not garnishes.   Added sauteed beef.  Totalled about $8 no drink for me, I’ll stick with the water.

So let’s start the review process:

First I think this place is like the Fazoli’s of Asian food, it’s the market they’re going after.  I could take a decent picture of Fazoli’s Lasagna and it would look good, but once you taste it, you know it’s not your mom’s lasagna.  Well this isn’t my giesha’s Peanut Noodle Parfait either.  But think Fazoli’s before you eat here, if you like Fazoli’s for Italian, then you may like this place for Asian or Mediterranianneanneanne.  (I tend to not like food I can’t spell)  I digress….

Is this a place that the Forkers normally visit?  Nope ~ Two Forks

Is the menu limited?  Yes, you can choose between three ~ themes I guess, then add your chicken or beef or whatever, remember if you have three green balls, three blue balls, and three red balls ~ you’ll have 504* different combinations of three balls, but still you only have three colors of balls.  Basically you’re going to get noodles and meat.  Now’s a good time to mention it’s the same meat they use in all their dishes I bet, so my meat wasn’t marinated in my peanut sauce ~ Two Forks

Was the service slow?  No it wasn’t but then again, there was only like two other customers in the place and the employees were mostly standing around doing nothing.  They were friendly enough. ~ Three Forks

Was it expensive?  I thought so, but I’m a tightwad.  $8  and I got water…. ~ One to Two Forks IMO

They serve beer and wine here. ~ Five Forks

Will I have to eat here again to remind myself why I don’t care for it?  Yes ~ Two Forks.

Overall I don’t think it was a bad place… it’s just not what would satisfy me and it did not satisfy me as when we were leaving we had to drive right by Taco Bell, and I could sense nothing but a Grilled Steak Stuffed Burrito, but my weekend of gluttony and drunken debauchery was over and I thus abstained.  I’m giving it two forks simply because it’s a steep price, doesn’t appeal to me, and I probably won’t eat here again, but if I got drug here, well I’d bitch about it but enjoy it. 


*statistical calculation: P(n,r) = n! / (n -r)!
Noodles & Company
7291 Battle Hill Drive
Mechanicsville, VA  23311

One response to “Use Your Noodle To Eat Healthy – Noodles and Company

  1. Is one of the combinations one green ball, because I can’t get 504 combinations? Educate me – Why is there more than 27 combinations (3*3*3) if you can have double or triple beef.

    If you can’t repeat an ingredient then there would be 6 combinations (3*2*1).

    Am I totally stupid or is 504 bogus?

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