Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Noodles & Company Food Review III

Thai Hot Pot

It's autumn, and time for my biannual trek to Noodles & Company, so I can inspect their new seasonal items. For the record, I visit N&C at least once a month... biannual refers to seasonal reviews only. On to the food!

Let's start off with what I didn't try... Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese. Buffalo chicken sounds right up my alley; but it has only been three months since my first-ever plate of mac & cheese, and that's not long enough to warrant a second tasting (I'm just not a fan, sorry.) I like the idea of blue cheese crumbles and green onions, but...

Fig & Pig Flatbread

Thankfully, there was plenty to try (and love.) How about a new flatbread? Noodles & Company presents their Fig & Pig Flatbread with slow-braised pork, crumbled feta cheese and caramelized onions, dressed in balsamic, fig-infused oil. I already love N&C's pork (their BBQ Pork sandwich is my go-to favorite) and this new entry makes a great pizza-esque appetizer. Arcadian lettuce brings color and salubriousness, and their toasted bread remains second to none. My only complaint/concern? I wish there was more of the advertised fig flavor. Not quite a sausage pizza, but close enough (and more creative.)

Also available (as a Featured Dish) the Thai Hot Pot, perhaps the most "complete" dish on the menu. It has everything in it. No, really... everything. Cabbage, cilantro, peppers, rice noodles, shitake mushrooms, sprouts and a combination of pulled chicken and pork. Tossed together with a lime wedge on top, over a delicious curry broth (and served with a side of toasted flatbread.) You want unabashed flavor? Look no further. You want variety? This is it.

Don't ask how, but this mighty bowl of goodness packs less than 600 calories (even with two kinds of meat.) I had to ditch the chopsticks, which leads to my only issue... It's a bit tricky to eat. You'll need a fork and a spoon (metal sporks, where are you?) which can be aggravating for some. Not for me however, as I was too busy enjoying the myriad of flavors and textures in my mouth. Complex, but not to a fault, this replaces Chicken Noodle as my favorite soup on Noodles & Company's menu.

So now what? Spring is still six months away, and I'm already looking forward to the next batch of seasonal items. In the meantime, I suppose I have to "settle" for a dozen noodles/pasta options, four salads, four sandwiches and four soups. Lucky me.