The menu at Noodles & Company, inside Valley West Mall, is divided into three regions: American, Mediterranean and Asian. Patrons order at a centralized register. There they decide on a noodle base, protein options (chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu) and whether or not to add more cheese and vegetables.
The Denver-based fast- casual chain also offers sandwiches, soups and salads. Providing ample seating and an outdoor patio for warmer months, Noodles & Company boasts modern décor with global accents, while each table includes a bottle of sriracha and soy sauce.
Online ordering is available, and eight parking spots have been reserved outside for takeout customers. The restaurant is located in the space formerly home to the store Calypso 968. We saw multiple people take advantage of this takeout option on a recent weekday lunch hour.
I ordered the spicy chicken Caesar wrap,which consists of flatbread wrapped around Romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, crunchy wonton strips and shredded chicken, all doused in a spicy Caesar dressing — so much of it that an otherwise palatable sauce rendered an otherwise tasty sandwich messy and an unappetizing shade of orange. The wrap came with a choice of soup or salad on the side. I chose chicken noodle soup, and with its large slivers of chicken and enormous egg noodles, it was a bit awkward to eat, even with an oversized spoon, though a welcomed choice for a chilly afternoon.
My dining partner ordered the macaroni and cheese, which the restaurant boasts as its top-seller, and added meatballs, which the menu recommended. The bowl arrived filled to its brim with elbow macaroni, a touch of cream, and a smattering of shredded cheese, a step above the boxed versions, but really just glorified fast food. The meatballs, though ample, had a strange sponge-like texture.
Many patrons around us ordered from the Asian menu, and appeared to be enjoying their options. Perhaps next time we’ll venture to the same region.
Noodles & Company
Find it: Valley West Mall, West Des Moines
Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday
Info: 223-6121, www.noodles.com
Spicy chicken Caesar wrap … $5.89
Macaroni and cheese … $5.35
Addition, meatballs …$2.39
Fountain drink …$1.69
Total with tax: $16.24