Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Menu Revamp: A Little Pork with Your Noodles?

By:  Jennifer Duff
Capital Cooking Contributor

I love going out for a nice, relaxing four-course dinner with my husband to enjoy extraordinary food and delicious wine.  But of course, every night isn't a night out on the town, especially with two small boys at home.  So when some evenings are hectic and we get home late from work, we order take-out.  Is it superior quality?  Not usually, but it's good and more importantly, it's quick and easy.  And, if it means one less thing for me to deal with, I'll take it. 

On my way home from work, I pass by a bunch of take-out options, and new to the area is Noodles and Company.

Noodles and Company offers a noodle-inspired menu with flavors from "around the world" - like Asian, American, and Mediterranean dishes.  They also have salads and sandwiches on their menu, but with a name like "Noodles and Company" I tend to go for the noodles.  Seems only fitting.

The 'restaurant' itself is really nice (I went to the one in Springfield, VA) -- clean and minimalist, a nice alternative to some dark Chinese take-out joints.

Noodles and Company just introduced slow braised, naturally raised pork to their menu, so I had to try it out. I opted for the Pad Thai with the pork - I didn't know how well it would match (as I wasn't sure how the pork was prepared) and it didn't really.  BUT... the pork was delicious!  It was tender, flavorful and slightly salty - it would definitely be good on a sandwich.  So I basically had pad thai with a side of pork.  A little different, but it worked for me.  The pad thai itself was only so-so, the sauce was light and citrus-based, but it could have used a little more spice and pick me up.  They really just need to come up with a noodle dish that pairs with the pork (and BBQ sauce on noodles is not a great idea). 

My husband decided on the Japanese Pan Noodles with marinated steak.  The caramelized udon noodles were really yummy with the sweet soy sauce and black sesame.  A good asian-inspired dish with lots of flavor.

We had a great take-out experience at Noodles and Company - the staff was polite, our food was prepared quickly (important when you have kids with you!), and the dishes were a great alternative to our typical take-out selections of Chipotle and pizza.  A perfect to solution to a hectic evening on-the-go!
Noodles & Company on Urbanspoon

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