I was at Loehmann's Plaza last week and noticed a Noodles & Company restaurant, a chain that I hadn't tried before. So I decided to check it out.
As its name would suggest, Noodles & Company specializes in noodle dishes, specifically noodle dishes from three different regions: Asia, the Mediterranean, and America. The menu indicates which items are vegetarian, which they define as excluding meat and fish. The menu also says that they'll customize anything:
"We're happy to make your meal just the way you want it. Most of our
dishes start out vegetarian, so you can add your favorite protein. Make
it more or less spicy. Add, subtract or substitute veggies, cheese or
noodles on any dish."
There is also a disclaimer on the menu that says:
"We have The Big Eight (peanuts, tree nuts, soy, milk, eggs, fish,
shellfish and wheat) in our restaurant and there may be cross contact.
Our menu descriptions do not include all ingredients. Please see a
manager if you have food allergies, dietary restrictions or preferences."
So, now that I have that out of the way, what did I order? Well, I decided that the Asian menu options probably required the least amount of tinkering with ingredients, so I opted for the Japanese Pan Noodles, described as "carmelized udon noodles in a sweet soy sauce, broccoli, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, Asian sprouts, black sesame and cilantro." I added tofu for an extra cost. I thought this dish was quite good, and just exactly the right size for lunch, which means I didn't end up taking any leftovers home.
The other Asian options were Pad Thai (I'm going to order this next time, without the scrambled egg), Bangkok Curry, Indonesian Peanut Saute, Thai Curry Soup, and Chinese Chop Salad.
The Mediterranean and American dishes looked like they would be a little more problematic for vegans, since many have cheese or cream cooked into the sauce. Of the Mediterranean dishes, the Pasta Fresca and the Med Salad looked as though they could be made vegan. I'm not sure any of the American dishes can be made vegan except possibly the Spaghetti & Meatballs without the meatballs.
In addition to their restaurant at Loehmann's Plaza, Noodles & Company has locations in Elk Grove and Roseville. More information about their menu, locations, and hours of operation can be found at http://www.noodles.com/.