Thursday, June 3, 2010

Noodles & Company

Mike and I have been eating at Noodles & Company in the Pearl District regularly, ever since Portland Center Stage moved to the Armory Building, right down the street from Noodles & Company. I adore their tomato-basil bisque--I could eat a whole gallon of it every day! We also like the vast array of choices--from Asian to Mediterranean and American (although we hardly ever choose the American menu items).

So when I got the opportunity to sample Noodles & Company's new lemon-asparagus dish, I jumped at the chance. We had taken the boys to the Noodles & Company in the Pearl District once, and not only did they love it, but we were also delighted with the family-friendly service there. The manager came over and showed the boys some magic tricks and also gave them some free rice crispie treats! This evening we tried the Beaverton outpost because of the ever-continuing rain and easier parking.

I had thought that I could get Kieran to try to lemon-asparagus linguini (he is a huge lemon fan), but until I ordered it and realized you could customize your dish, I didn't realize you could get it without mushrooms. (Kieran is convinced that he's allergic to mushrooms.)

I'm afraid I didn't have a lot of luck getting the boys to eat vegetables at our meal this evening. When we go out to eat, we let them choose their own meal items (that's part of the fun in going out!), and now that I see the photos, they all chose meals without vegetables!! Oh well! The easiest way to get them to eat vegetables is to stuff them in ravioli--that's a hint for an upcoming menu item, Noodles & Company! We go in waves in our successful veggie promotion.

So in spite of the veggie failure tonight, everyone loved our visit to Noodles & Company.

Nick loves to sit up on stools--so he wanted to eat at the "bar," looking out the window. Mike had the Thai curry soup and the Indonesian peanut saute with chicken.

I tried out the lemon-asparagus linguini, but I was delighted to discover, when asked, that they could make it with (gluten-free) rice noodles and nix the red onion! It was delicious--with snow peas, asparagus, lemon, garlic, mushrooms, and feta cheese.

And here is my beloved tomato basil bisque!

And my children with their nonveggie meals! Chris had buttered noodles and meatballs, and Kieran and Nick had the classic mac and cheese.

I got a giggle out of Nick's cheese whiskers hanging off his chin!

I wish Noodles & Company had a location within 5 minutes of our house--we'd be there weekly, I think! But it really is worth going out of our way's great to have a family-friendly, healthy option for our family. The kids tasted my tomato soup and liked it a lot--so next time we go I will be ordering bowls for them, too, so they can get their veggies!

Noodles & Company has a great Web site, where it lists nutritional information for all of its items and ways to order the food for dietary restrictions. All the food is made to order, so it can be tailored for one's personal needs. It's nice to know we can order any item on the menu and request rice noodles instead of wheat, for example.

How long can I wait before returning for more of that amazing tomato bisque, I wonder?
 *"I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Noodles & Company and received five Noodles & Company bowl cards to facilitate my review. Mom Central also sent me a thank-you gift certificate."

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