Review: The Med Duo from Noodles & Company
I love the fast casual craze that started in the 90′s. It has proven that fast food doesn’t have to be a low quality, haphazardly strewn together afterthought. Whether it’s the burgers from Five Guys, or the burritos from Chipotle, I’m in food heaven. Noodles & Company has always made me scratch my head though. The ingredients and ambiance are great, but the food has never blown me away. In this day and age, I demand to be “WOWED”. Noodles & Co has just been decent. On a recent visit I noticed they now serve sandwiches. That seemed perfect for a review, so I decided to give Noodles & Co one more chance to win me over with The Med flatbread sandwich and Cucumber Tomato Salad.
While I have never considered myself to be a masochist, this review clearly shows me that I’m a glutton for punishment. Yes, this is the most obvious foreshadowing ever. All the sandwiches come in “Duo” form, so you are forced to get a soup or salad to go with your sandwich. My guess is they try shove as much food into your gullet as possible so you won’t notice any of the dishes individual faults. Well played Noodles & Co. Don’t get me wrong though, I was looking forward to my meal and I went with what spoke to me right off the bat; The Med Duo seemed like a no-brainer.
The Cucumber Tomato Salad is described like this:
Cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions in our Asian dressing
I love salads that consist of non-leafy produce, and cucumber tomato is one of my favorites. I noticed the salad was pre-made, so for a split second I was worried the salad would be a pickled mess. Then I realized that I love pickles and became pretty excited about what I was about to eat. This salad was super fresh. So fresh that the tomatoes were unripe and the root was still connected to a giant hunk of red onion. The Asian dressing tasted like unsweetened, ginger flavored Kool-Aid. The Cucumber Tomato Salad was a bunch of butchered, underseasoned, unripe veggies in a pool of red water. Yay… A semi-retarded monkey could make a decent cucumber tomato salad with ease. Salt, pepper, vinegar, oil, and vegetables not prepared by Hellen Keller is all you need for a refreshing summer treat. After three bites I threw it in the trash. Nice start Noodles & Co.
The Med sandwich is described like this:
Chicken, mushrooms, spinach, red bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, Zippy Med Dressing, cilantro and feta on flatbread.
That sounds delicious, although once again, Noodles & Co failed me. Instantly I noticed my sandwich was missing a couple of things. No cilantro and no “Zippy Med Dressing”. I did see something for the first time ever though, and that was the cucumber was cooked with the rest of the veggies. The flatbread had no char or browning and tasted like uncooked flour. Once again everything was underseasoned and the chicken may have well been boiled. A dry, bland mess of what could have been great. Drowning The Med in Sriracha made it edible, so at least I didn’t go hungry. This was plain awful.
When I first started cooking I learned that every customer should be treated like a food critic or hell, even the Queen of England. When a server tells us we have a “special guest”, we roll our eyes and cook them the same awesome food we serve every patron. I however was treated like a homeless person begging for a handout. The Mushroom Stroganoff and Wisconsin Mac and Cheese are OK, but this might have sealed the deal that I will never eat at Noodles & Co again. They “WOWED” me for sure, but not in the way either of us had hoped.
Pros: Cock sauce/Sriracha(Get your head out of the gutter!). That's it.
Cons: I paid for this. Chef Hellen Keller. Teasing me with amazing sounding food and serving me the opposite. Unripe tomatoes. Cooked cucumber. Noodles & Company.
Taste: Cucumber and Tomato salad 1.00, The Med Sandwich 2.00
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Overall GrubGrade: 1.00/10
More Info: Noodles.com
330 calories, 10g fat, 2g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 970mg sodium, 41g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g sugars, 20g protein
Cucumber Tomato Salad
110 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 920mg sodium, 24g carbs, 2g fiber, 18g sugars, 1g protein