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A Fast-Food Restaurant For The Selective

Noodles & Company comes to town

with a menu built around you

Can’t make up your mind if you want your pasta Italian style with red sauce and meatballs, or Asian style, perhaps with coconut, shitake mushrooms or peanuts? If you decide to eat at Noodles & Company, you don’t have to choose until you’re at the counter placing your order.

Noodles & Company opened this month in the Gallery at Westbury Plaza off Old Country Road, the first of 24 locations planned for Nassau and Suffolk County for this nationwide chain with 364 locations in 29 states.

It works like some fast-food restaurants: get on line, place your order at the counter and your food will be brought to your table. But here’s how it differs: Even though there are more than a dozen pasta choices, you can alter your dish to suit your preferences and any dietary restrictions. For example, perhaps you’d like Penne Rosa that comes with spicy tomato cream sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach and cheese, but don’t want mushrooms. Let them know and you will get your dish without the mushrooms. Or if you opt for Japanese Pan Noodles of caramelized udon noodles in a sweet soy sauce with vegetables, but don’t want cilantro, there will be no cilantro. Like your pasta plain? Order buttered noodles.

Allergies, too, are taken very seriously here. If you have an aversion to peanuts, for example, your ticket will be clearly marked and a manager will oversee the preparation of the dish to make sure it doesn’t come into contact with any nuts. Everything is fresh and freshly made.

A few other nice things about Noodles & Company. You don’t have to bus your own table—your table will be cleared when you are finished. The food is served on china with real silverware and glasses. And no tipping is allowed.

“We pay a living wage to our staff,” said Wayne Humphrey, director of franchise operations, out from headquarters in Colorado, to get the restaurant off to a good start.

The price is right: the regular pasta dishes are $5.89 and small is $4.79; pork, chicken breast, shrimp, marinated steak, meatballs and tofu can be added to any pasta dish for around $2.50. For an additional $1.49 you can get a side salad or soup. The restaurant also offers sandwiches and salads.

Everyone loved the customer-operated Coca Cola Freestyle Soda Machine where 128 different flavored sodas and Dasani waters can be had at the press of the button. The flavors can also be mixed allowing for endless combinations. The restaurant also serves craft beers such as Brooklyn Brewery India Pale Ale and Blue Point Toasted Lager, plus red and white wine.