As a mom with two young kids, I don’t fine dine much as evident by this next post about a family favorite fast-casual restaurant, Noodles & Company (“Noodles”). We love going to Noodles because everyone is happy there, even the Celiac mom! It’s a place I know we can all get a good meal, for a reasonable price, and everyone will be happy.
There are plenty of gluten free options at Noodles & Company, you’ll just want to make sure you have a conversation with the cashier or ask for the manager so they get your order right. Also consult the Noodles & Company website for nutritional information.
I highly recommend the gluten free fusilli. For those of you who know me, you know I miss eating noodles. It was a staple in my diet pre-Celiac. Now I can’t stand most gluten free noodles and avoid them as much as possible. That is, I really do love the fusilli noodles at Noodles & Company. They have a great texture and taste unlike most gluten free noodles. Kudos Noodles for getting this right! You can order the fusilli noodles with many of the dishes like Penne Rosa, Pasta Fresca (my favorite), Pesto Cavatappi, and more. The Pad Thai is made with a different noodles – a rice noodle – and is gluten free with no modifications. Please note there is an upcharge for gluten free fusilli – +$1.50 for a regular dish, and +$1.00 for a small dish.
I always like a protein on top of my dishes, and usually order the beef even though I prefer the chicken. The chicken is prepared in the same pans as a crusted chicken and there is a high risk of cross-contamination. If I must have chicken, I ask them to bake it in the oven for me vs. pan fry it and they can usually accommodate if they have an experienced cook that day (note, you’ll have to wait an extra 10 minutes for baked chicken). They also offer shrimp and other proteins. Inquire within.
It’s evident that Noodles is trying to become more accommodating to people with special diets, and that the company as a whole is paying better attention to where ingredients are sourced. Check out this photo of a sign I saw hanging prominently in the restaurant.
Overall, I highly recommend Noodles & Company as a family-friendly, inexpensive and easy lunch out with the family. The gluten free member of your dining party will be happy (me!) – and as my family says, “When Mom is happy, everyone is happy.” Amen!