Noodles & Company Open in Cameron Village

IMG_0251 A week ago Raleigh’s first Noodles & Company opened in the Cameron Village space formerly occupied by The Record Bar (alright, The Grape was most recent). This is Noodles’ 200th store and I have to say, it’s darned good.

The fast casual chain’s menu (.pdf) features numerous noodle-based dishes, grouped in three major categories: Asian, Mediterranean (Italian), and American. For my first visit I enjoyed the Mac & Cheese with Parmesan Crusted Chicken (picture. Note: there IS creamy cheese in the macaroni pile).

My family went next time and we shared three dishes. The Japanese Pan Noodles were simply OK, but not lovable. Another dish was the Penne Rosa, a spicy tomato cream sauce with mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach. We added the Parmesan Crusted Chicken and the dish was fantastic. It is a bit spicy, so children may want to ask them to create a non-spicy version. Finally, we got the House Marinara with Parmesan Crusted Chicken. Curiously in the “American” section, the dish has a basic marinara sauce with parmesan and parsley.

Noodles I’m not going to pretend that this is the second-coming of Est Est Est. The food is quite adequate, but not more. What it is, though, is a fantastic option for a quick, cheap dinner. The three items listed above with a small Caesar salad and soft drinks for three was $30, total. There aren’t that many places where a family can get a forky-food dinner this good for $30. The prices are a bit awkward for lunch, though, as $9 is a bit more than many spend for lunch.

Noodles also offers variety that is unmatched in Raleigh’s restaurants. If one person is really in the mood for an Asian dish and another isn’t, both palates can be satisfied at Noodles & Company.

Raleigh’s restaurant profile seems to be in a state of flux. Some blame the economy, but truth be known, we are glutted with restaurants serving $15-$20 entrees, and even in a thriving economy people will not live on restaurants in that price range. It’s nice to have Noodles here to help fill the lower tier.

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  • Travis

    Not bad for the money. I tried this place last night. It was very busy. I think there was some type of Christmas event going on at the shopping center. The rice krispy treats are huge and only 1.50 :)

  • Sean

    Thanks for the recommendation. We tried the buttered noodles for the kids and I had the Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine which were quite good. But my wife had the Pad Thai, and it smelled like a freshly opened bag of dogfood. We did not send it back as it was crazy busy on a Friday evening. We may go back, but stay away from the Pad Thai.

  • Matt K.

    Oh my gosh – I’ve been to once of these in suburban Baltimore a couple of months back and for what it is, I enjoyed it a lot. Good food at a reasonable price. So glad to hear we have one in town now!

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