Although I ended the day yesterday back on track, my work clothes were feeling a little too snug today. I have to remember that I’ve spent more time in the “red” than in the “black” over the last month when it comes to staying Wheat and Binge Free. Has it really already been a month since I stepped on the plane to head on vacation to Minnesota? I feel like it’s been hard to get back to my “regularly scheduled dieting” since then.
Our houseguests brought us an organic whole grain pancake mix to make for breakfast Sunday morning, so we broke out our Star Wars molds to honor the special occasion. While it was a team effort to get the pancakes on the griddle (they are a pain to get right – and while the molds advertise themselves as a “snap” to clean, this is simply not true), I was not part of the team that ate the pancakes.
After everyone had their fill of pancakes, butter, and syrup (or coffee and a protein shake in my case), we spent the day at our local water park. It’s the first time this summer I’ve really done anything “summery” other than mow the lawn, so I didn’t mind that it took me away from the 6+ miles I had on my running schedule. But I did get nervous when lunchtime discussions began.
“Have you been to Noodles and Company?” my friend asked me.
Noodles and Company very recently opened near me. It replaced a Baja Fresh, which I was fond of. In a prior life, I guess I was also very fond of noodles, but – because this opened after I began this wheat free experiment – figured this is one of those places I should avoid completely. But I reversed my position on this for three reasons:
- I am always excited to try something new.
- My friend – who also loves trying new things – doesn’t have a Noodles and Company near her, so who knows when she’d get another opportunity to go there.
- I figured, at the very least, it would provide some good blog fodder.
I wasn’t surprised to easily find their full menu, nutrition, and allergen info online. Franchises seem to do this well, and Noodles and Company – with their “Nutrition Sorter” – makes it particularly easy. They are very clear that – because they are a pasta restaurant – they can’t guarantee that your food won’t come into contact with gluten, but do offer some suggestions on menu items that use rice noodles and non-gluten ingredients. You can get any of their dishes with rice noodles, but you do have to watch out for the sauces.
They don’t post their prices online, which left us worrying that it might not be a budget friendly restaurant – but it turned out most of their pasta bowls are generally $6.
They have a “small” option for $5. After seeing the sizes of their “Regular” option, I’d recommend going for the small if you are dining alone.
So – what was the verdict?
Everyone raved about their food – except for me and my husband. Because it was very late in the afternoon when we had lunch (we had spent all day at the water park) and we needed to leave early to have dinner with my uncle, my husband and I decided to split something to keep it small and light. Because he’s a wheat eater, we couldn’t agree on a pasta dish, so we went for the pork sandwich.
I just pulled my half of the pork off the bread and hoped there wasn’t any wheat in the BBQ sauce. In retrospect, these seems pretty ridiculous. I should have just eaten the pasta.
The sandwich was disappointing. It was tiny. Although the menu advertised coleslaw (and the picture on the website shows it served with something that looks like slaw or some kind of salad), there was no slaw – only lettuce. I suppose we should know better than to order a sandwich at a noodle restaurant. (To caveat, though, my friend’s husband ordered the chicken caesar salad and said it was pretty good). I did sign up for their e-club and maybe will go back (with a coupon, of course) to try one of their rice noodle dishes.