Durham’s Noodles & Company location.
With spring comes new dishes at many restaurants, and that includes Noodles & Company, a chain I’ve sampled a few times before. Well, readers, it’s your and my lucky day, because I was invited to come to their Erwin Rd. location in Durham to try their spring asparagus menu and you get the chance to win a coupon for a free dish of your choice! The first five commenters on this post will win.
All food and drink in this blog were provided free of charge by Noodles & Company.
Interior of the Erwin Rd. store.
About a month ago, the chain restaurant added three asparagus-centered options to their regular menu, and they are likely to be available through early summer. Let’s dine on an appetizer first.
The Asparagus Stack is a large helping of asparagus simply blanched and served with a handful each of bacon and feta cheese. It’s vibrantly presented, and the flavors match. Use the lemon to accentuate each element. I do think a sprinkling of herbs would take the dish to the next level, and it’s not that easy to eat.
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Watts Hillandale, Durham
This is a seasonal offering at Watts, and it’s the second I’ve had locally featuring Foggy Ridge cider—I must check into that label to see why our bartenders are experimenting with it! Including the cider, the Graniwinkle is made of house-spiced apple cider syrup, brandy, lemon juice, and maple syrup. Surprisingly, the lemon juice is the strongest flavor, and because it goes so well with brandy, I think that’s a great choice. I expected the maple syrup to be overwhelming, but it was mellow, acting as a binding agent for the apple, spice, and lemon more than anything else. The bubbles from the cider cut nicely through what might have been strong lemon otherwise, and the concentrated apple cider syrup gave the drink that little bit of extra oomph to keep my interest.
The Graniwinkle is a well-crafted drink that’s worthy of your taste buds if Watts is still featuring it!
Reviewed 3 Dec 11.