Noodles & Company began in 1995, but it’s just making its way to Central Florida now. They have a simple concept — serve fresh food fast. As you might suspect from the name, there’s a focus on noodle dishes from many cultures. But they also have sandwiches, salads, and soups. For drinks the have the Coca-cola freestyle machine, plus an assortment of bottled drinks, including wine and beer.
We visited the new Lake Buena Vista location which is just outside the Downtown Disney Hotel Plaza in the Crossroads shopping mall. It just opened in March and is a much needed Fast Casual open for Crossroads.
To order, you select your noodle dish and your size (regular or small) . Then you can add a protein in the form or meat or tofu. Each dish and protein option has a different cost, but it all adds up to something around $8 and change usually. If you’re hungry, you can add a salad or soup for $1 more.
After you order and get your drinks, you bring your number to an open table. The Lake Buena Vista location has both inside seating and covered outside seating. Each dish is individually prepared and brought to your table on stoneware with actual stainless steel flatware. A nice touch for a fast casual location.
If you’re watching what you eat, the menus all have calorie counts of each dish printed on them, so you can stay on your diet. Although we did not ask to see it this trip, they do have an allergen guide available with suggestions on what to order based on your needs.
Although the sandwiches and salads looked good, we all decided on different noodle dishes for our first visit. I had the Pad Thai and Thai Curry Soup, I also sampled the Barbecue Pork Mac and the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese dishes.
The Pad Thai had exactly the flavor I like and the portion was definitely filling. I ordered the chicken breast, which was just laid across the top instead of stir-fried with the noodles. That was a bit of a disappointment. I might ask on my next visit if they can mix them together to coat the chicken with the sauce. The Thai Curry come together well with most of the flavors I’d expect from a Thai restaurant, just slightly less spicy. But above average for a fast casual location, for sure.
The Barbecue Pork Mac and Wisconsin Mac & Cheese, were also better than I expected in terms of taste, preparedness (they were both perfectly cooked), and portion.
Parking is sometimes tight at Crosswords, but my least favorite Crossroads activity is leaving the parking lot, there’s always a line. If you’re exiting west on 535, you can exit out behind the Chevy’s. Don’t go that way expecting to make a quick u-turn and return to Disney World, but it is possible. Either way give yourself extra time if you have to get somewhere in a hurry.
Noodles & Company updates their menu seasonally with Spring items appearing in just a few days. So keep an eye for what’s new and interesting on your next visit and let us know what you liked.