On a crazy whim, hoping to prove that maybe there is a chain restaurant worth going to, I went to Noodles & Co in the new downtown Silver Spring this evening.
It was a horrendous experience...I tried the pad thai ($5.50) and added chicken ($1.75) and found it to be lacking of flavor, lacking of any peanut sauce, and lacking of anything beyond noodles with a few carrots and bean sprouts. Obviously, I didn't expect my pad thai to taste like authentic thai food, but I did hope for it to be passable. It tasted like boiled noodles with a tad of veggies and chicken. The noodles were also so stuck together I literally had to cut them with a knife. Fortunately, I got takeout, so I added some Trader Joes peanut sauce and a spritz of lime juice when I got home.
For those of you who haven't head of this restaurant, it is a noodle place that does asian, italian, japanese noodles. I've seen outposts in Rockville, Pentagon City, COlumbia, but don't know if this is a newish national chain or a local chain. However, after this experience, I doubt I'll try any more of their noodles in any of their locations.
And for those who say I should have gone to a non-chain, I live in Silver Spring and have gone to a good number of the non-chain places in the area (and have posted some of my thoughts about them). I just like to try most places just once. You never know what you may find.