Archive for April, 2011

Noodles & Company

April 25th, 2011

Noodles & Company has opened a new location in the strip center adjacent to The Mall at Green Hills. For those not familiar with Noodles & Company it is a fast casual restaurant serving pasta bowls that are freshly prepared.  All items are $5.95 for a large or $4.95 for a slightly smaller portion.

We have visited Noodles & Company in Denver on many occasions previously and are very happy to have a location now in Nashville giving us another vegan option.

I received a VIP (read: let us use you for training purposes) invite to a pre-opening event this past Saturday. My sidekick foodie was our 5 year-old daughter who is a pasta-lover. I checked the website beforehand to make sure I knew what was vegan friendly. There is a selection of nine items on the menu that either are vegan or can be made vegan with a simple omission. Tofu is an option to be added to any entree.

  • Indonesian Peanut Saute
  • Japanese Pan Noodles
  • Chinese Chop Salad with no wontons
  • Penne Rosa with no cream and no cheese
  • Pasta Fresca with no cheese
  • Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine with no cream and no cheese
  • Spaghetti with no cheese
  • Cucumber Tomato Salad
  • Tossed Green Side Salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Upon entering we were greeted, asked for our names for the invite list and given a menu. While talking with the greeters, about 2 minutes,  no less than 10 people walked in the door only to be turned away when told it was invite only. Most seemed a little angry. I told the employees we were vegan and was quickly and happily handed a vegan menu, not something you get much of around here.  Usually when we tell a server that were vegan it’s typically followed by a blank stare and, “What does that mean?”

I had already decided to get the Japanese Pan Noodles and the kid just wanted a pasta so she decided to get Pasta Rosa. We added tofu to each, of course. Our food was served quickly and looked great. The one issue was the kid could not eat hers. It was far too spicy and I wished I had known it would be such an overpowering heat before she had ordered. A little spice doesn’t bother her but the Penne Rosa was far too hot for her. We packed it to go. The Japanese Pan Noodles was very tasty and not over-sauced. The dish was served with flavorful, seared tofu and fresh, crispy sprouts which my daughter thoroughly enjoyed picking from my plate. The noodles were a bit overcooked but I expect that to be worked out as this was, of course, a training session. I had planned on eating only half and boxing the rest but it was gone before I knew it.

The remainder of the Penne Rosa was reheated and eaten the day after our visit and tasted just as fresh as when it was served in the restaurant. I only wished I had some more of the Japanese Pan Noodles to munch on at the time. I plan another visit this week and I’ll likely try the Indonesian Peanut Saute or the Bangkok Curry. You’ll be seeing plenty of me at Noodles & Company in the future.

Noodles & Company
2116 Green Hills Village Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37215
(615) 383-7740

Japanese Pan Noodles

Japanese Pan Noodles with Tofu

Penne Rosa with Tofu

Little Nashveggie with Penne Rosa


SoyGo Soy Creamer

April 10th, 2011

I sometimes go through two pounds of coffee a week at home. That’s alot of coffee and I sometimes drink it with a creamer. When I’m not home finding a vegan creamer at a coffee shop or restaurant isn’t easy and is usually impossible. SoyGo is trying to fix that.

SoyGo Soy Creamer is a soy-based powder coffee creamer in a small, travel-sized packet that’s easy to carry wherever you go. Very welcome to the vegan or health conscious who don’t want the unpronounceable chemicals in most powdered creamers or a non-dairy creamer in their coffee.

SoyGo Soy Creamer

SoyGo Soy Creamer is available in handy, travel-sized packs.

A single pack of SoyGo gives enough creamer for an 8 ounce cup of coffee. Much more coffee than that and you’ll need a second pack of SoyGo to get the flavor and proper results. It’s been a couple decades since I used a powdered coffee creamer such as CoffeeMate so I don’t remember how well it dissolves but SoyGo needs a very good stirring before breaking down sufficiently and then it still leaves a powdery swirl in your cup. I stirred for about 30-40 seconds yet the majority of the powder had still not dissolved. The flavor is there, lightly but I would prefer it dissolve better. At the bottom of your cup you will find a sludge of soy powder goo once you drink the coffee.

SoyGo Creamer

SoyGo Soy Creamer after stirring

SoyGo Soy Creamer Dissolved

After stirring for a bit there's still some SoyGo that doesn't seem to dissolve.

SoyGo Soy Creamer in the bottom of the cup

After drinking the coffee SoyGo residue is left in the bottom of the cup.

The ingredients are all-natural and all-vegan. – Soy Powder (non-GMO), Vegan Sugar, Color Added (All-natural whitener), Xantham Gum, Inulin, Natural Flavors (French Vanilla), Natural Flavors (Non-dairy cream flavor), Dipotassium Phosphate, Lecithin, Salt

Overall, SoyGo is a welcome product. I like having the option to get a cup of Sock Juice (brewed coffee) while away from home and have the option to add a vegan creamer. I would like to see it dissolve a bit better and maybe a half-ounce more product per packet so a larger cup or mug of coffee can be fixed up with just one pack. With that said, I’ll be sure to take a few packs with me on road trips. It will come in very handy at those coffee shops where vegans are never taken into consideration at the condiment bar.

SoyGo Soy Creamer is available at most Whole Foods locations including Coolsprings and Green Hills. You can find it in the baking aisle near the cocoa in both of those stores. It is also available directly from SoyGo, Amazon and some other online vegan outlets.

For more information on SoyGo Soy Creamer visit SavingOpusOne.

SoyGo Soy Creamer Review