« Table of contents: N | Main | Northside Family Restaurant »

Noodles & Company

In a word: Decent.

The specs: #0420
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Tasty Lies, the Culinary Adventures of Jahboh and Tossy; official web site, Noodles & Company on Urbanspoon

Latest Noodles & Company news and reviews

JM ate the Wisconsin mac and cheese.
Nichole ate the Bangkok curry.
The bill was about $12, or $6/person (thanks for the coupon, Natalie!)
JM gave Noodles an A- ; Nichole gave Noodles a B (see our grading rubric).

Pad thaiWhen JM moved to Madison just shy of ten years ago, Noodles epitomized what Madison was: new, safe and a little funky, a little more expensive but a little bit better quality.  The food was good, and Nichole could always find something to eat when JM got his macaroni and cheese. A decade later, little has changed except for JM's awareness of the REST of Madison, but Noodles is always a reliable choice. 

It's worth noting that Noodles is one of the more kid-friendly venues around town, and enabled us to dine pretty smoothly with the adults in our party only just outnumbering the munchkins. In some sort of bizarre testimony to the power of you all, dear readers, our dining companions declined to comment, lest you excoriate their proclamations or invalidate their criticisms. Besides, Noodles is about as WYSIWYG a restaurant as one could expect, and needs very little commentary.

This carbs-and-more chain has nailed down the speedy service algorithm and appeals to the masses with a dozen dishes or so, none of which get wilder than what the average bachelor can cook at home given a box of Annie Chun. It hasn't escaped our notice that the serving dishes have been getting shallower and the portions smaller since we picked Noodles as one of our newlywed/grad school standbys.

DumplingsWe splurged on an order of dumplings, seared to an appealing degree and stuffed with a decent meaty filling.

Wisconsin Mac and CheeseJM got his usual, the Wisconsin mac and cheese, and thoroughly enjoyed it as always. The two types of cheese (liquid and grated) always add up to a great counterpoint texture-fest in his mouth.

Bangkok curryNichole got the Bangkok curry, which was very coconutty and full of a variety of vegetables.

A Rice Krispie bar for dessert proved fresh and chewy; it was heartily enjoyed by all who tried it.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Comment: Couldn't agree more regarding smaller portions over the years. Years back it was awesome, now "ok".

Question: Is the place called "Noodles" or "Noodles & Company"????

Probably Noodles & Company is more accurate. Duly noted! - ed.

This place is in the upper echelon of fast food but it's really not much more sophisticated than that. For the price it's never really disappointing, and sadly for a few of full restaurants serving pasta on State, Noodles and Co. seem to get 'al dente' correct more often.

I always end up sick after eating there... I don't go anymore.

When I can't get to anything more authentic based on time, their Thai curry soup is a pretty darn tasty substitute. Just wish they'd give as much yummy coconut broth as they used to.

Just noticed this and had to say that the portioning has never changed over the years, however the serving plates have. The new plates are larger than the older one which can make you think you had more food before. Another scenario can be that the employees at that location were not following specs and were giving heartier portions. Now that the economy is in the shape that it is, the company has been more strict on employees to watch portioning.

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

The Chinese Chop Salad is very tasty and low calorie to boot. My munchkin likes the Japanese Pan Noodles, and spicy husband likes the Indonesian Peanut Saute. Still a trusty standby for me, even with all the other choices Madison has to offer.

The food is fine. My wife and I usually stop on the way to Badger hockey games. My only gripe is that they don't serve coffee - soda, ice tea, and bottled beverages only. I would really like a hot drink with my meal.

We love eating at Noodles! Did they recently change the Mac and Cheese recipe? It doesn't seem as creamy as it used to be, which is disappointing.

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.


Listen to The Corner Table podcast "Remembering Restaurants," aired December 24, 2020, where Chris and Lindsay talk with us "about the menus and memories left behind when restaurants go away."

Madison Food coverInfo about our book Madison Food: A History of Capital Cuisine is here, or read it for free thanks to the library - print & ebook.



About Follow madisonatoz on Twitter Contact
Blogroll Ad 
Free Blog
Read our book and food tour
Dish du jour Creative Commons License subscribe to RSS Subscribe
Memo to restaurants Bloggers' Rights at EFF Quizzes
Reflections BlogWithIntegrity.com Tip jar
Banner image by Kayla Morelli, Red Wheelbarrow Design