As you step through the doors of Elkhart’s newest restaurant, you begin to smell fragrances that will transport you to exotic locations.
That is the appeal of Noodles & Co., the fast-casual eatery that opened its doors on Monday at the Shoppes on Six Plaza, north of downtown Elkhart. Last week the chain hosted a number of test openings, where more than 2,600 people enjoyed a free meal, while Monday’s opening saw a steady crowd of patrons.
“This is very exciting,” said general manager Armar’rae Hill. “Nothing really compares to what we offer here, and we look forward to building relationships with the community. We try to give back when we can and we also invite the community to come in on occasion for free meals.”
The restaurant is known for its blend of flavors from all around the world. They feature three specific kinds of dishes, including themed meals from Asia, the Mediterranean and America.
“The spices and sauces we use in our recipes come from the specific countries those spices and sauces originate from,” said Hill. “We use meat that has no hormones or steroids in it. We are very allergy aware, use no artificial flavorings or coloring and our eggs are cage free.”
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One of the menu items that has people talking is the new serving of Korean barbecue meatballs. They are tossed in Gochujang [go-choo-jang] sauce — a Korean condiment with a spicy and sweet flavor that’s made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt. According to a press release, Noodles is the first national chain restaurant to feature Gochujang sauce on their menu.
The restaurant also offers catering services, which provides buffet-style meals for 20 people or more and includes entrées, sides and desserts. They also offer an à la carte catering option, which serves up to 10 people.
For people looking to take advantage of the warmer weather, the restaurant features an outdoor patio that can seat 18.