Sunday, March 16, 2014

Noodles and Company is Vegan friendly

Here it is, the newest restaurant in Topeka.

Tonight I got the chance to check out Noodles & Company for their soft opening.

Before even going I checked out their menu online to plan what I was going to order. Just some background -- my doctor has told me to stop eating all dairy because my gall bladder is giving me some problems. It may be that I'm lactose intolerant but we aren't sure. I've also decided to cut down on how much meat I eat since many dishes I eat have both meat and dairy in them.

What I liked about Noodles is they have plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. Click this link for a list of options.

Anyway, I ordered the Pasta Fresca with no cheese -- it comes with a choice of feta or parmesan. I also added some tofu, just to try it out and I was glad I did. I would recommend it even if you've tried tofu before and hated it because that happened to me, but I decided to go for it.

Pasta Fresca from Noodles & Co.
At first I thought they may have put meat in my noodles but it was just their firm tofu, which had a rich, meat-like texture and flavor that I enjoyed. It caught me off guard! It was grilled and firm but not chewy, it reminded me of lean pork. The sauce was made with balsamic vinegar, white wine and olive oil. It comes with spinach, tomatoes and onions and a hint of roasted garlic, all tossed together with penne pasta noodles. I enjoyed my dish but I do wish there were more vegetables because I was left with a bunch of noodles and no vegetables when I was finished. I may have eaten more if there were more toppings, but I am not a fan of just eating noodles and sauce.

I liked that the tomatoes weren't cooked to a pulp. Sometimes when I eat pasta dishes with tomatoes they like to cook them until they are mushy and not good anymore. Here, they were pretty uncooked so I liked that. The spinach, on the other hand, I wish would have been cooked a little more so it would have wilted a bit into the pasta. Instead, they were fresh spinach leaves in a cooked dish, which seemed a little awkward to me. I still enjoyed the flavor, I love spinach, it just seemed weird to me.

Overall, I enjoyed my experience. The place was packed and the line was long, but the staff did a good job accommodating their guests. The manager was guiding the long lines, including the drink like, which got a little long while they were filling the ice. He walked around and began filling up everyone's glasses with ice so the line would run a little faster, which worked. I thought he handled the situation well.

Noodles & Company opens tomorrow, March 17th, which is also St. Patrick's day. Hopefully Topeka will show up and continue to support this new addition to Top City. I enjoyed my visit, did you? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks for reading Tasting Topeka. If you have any restaurants that you would like me to review, please comment below. Thanks and happy tasting.