Food & Beverage

How to Charge More While Giving Less: Noodles and Company Review

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I was browsing my Facebook groups the other day when I came across a post that particularly stuck out to me. In it, this person asked about what are some great investing ideas that yield a high return on your investment, but don’t put you at risk to lose your money.

Basically, this person was asking: how can I make a lot of money while risking absolutely nothing and feeling 100% safe. When I first saw this post, I felt like this person was asking about where they could find a unicorn, but after visiting Noodles and Company Highland, I think I found a way.

 

Thai Chicken Soup Was Overpriced

I decided to try something I never had before and ordered the Noodles and Company Thai Chicken Soup. What I received instead is a great lesson in psychology.

I had never seen such a bowl structure before in my life. It’s like someone served me a cup of soup in a frying pan. It’s flatter, so it gives you the illusion that you’re getting more. You will most likely be looking down when you eat it, so you won’t bother to check the side of it like I did.

If you were expecting chicken in it, I have some disappointing news: you don’t get much.

Finding the chicken in this soup was like finding a needle in a haystack. The soup is opaque, so it makes it even harder. 

The tumeric lingers in your mouth as you continue to eat it. It’s not bad, but the Thai Chicken Soup at Noodles and Company Highland feels a bit overpriced for $6. 

Spicy Korean Beef Noodles: Where’s The Beef?

The Noodles and Company Spicy Korean Beef Noodles was unquestionably the most disappointing thing I had there. Where do I begin?

Well, to start, the gochujang bbq sauce was ok. There was a decent level of spice. Unfortunately this is what has to carry the flavor of the dish, and although in of itself it isn’t bad, it isn’t enough to justify the price. 

So here’s a question: with a name like “spicy Korean beef noodles,” what do you think is the star of the show? If you said “the beef,” you are sadly mistaken. Despite the name, you don’t really get a lot of beef. In fact, I spent a good two minutes and this was all I could find:

The beef texture itself was decent. It was certainly nothing out of the ordinary, but when I looked at the description and found out it was supposed to be marinated, I felt like this was a great slight of hand, albeit at my expense. I felt like I was robbed of that extra flavor I paid for, but didn’t experience.

Ok, so here is the biggest lesson on how to get more while giving less: As I was trying the noodles, I felt they were soft. Kinda like something you get out of a 0.99 cent ramen packet. I thought this was odd, but it turns out I only have myself to blame. I looked at the website and guess what: it actually says ramen noodles! That’s when it hit me: I just paid Noodles and Company Highland $10 for ramen noodles.

Korean BBQ Meatballs Was The Best Thing I Ordered

Being disappointed with what Noodles and Company Highland brought me so far, there was a lot of pressure on the Korean BBQ meatballs to deliver. Fortunately, I was not disappointed in the flavor.

The gochujang bbq sauce is pretty viscous in texture and enhances the natural flavor of the meatball.

The sesame seeds added an extra crunchy texture to the meatball without detracting from the flavor. 

To give myself a better experience, I ended up using the meatballs in my spicy noodles to remind myself what it should have tasted like. They had he same gochujang bbq sauce, but I could actually taste the flavor of the meat. It’s just a shame that I had to spend an extra $5 to get the experience. 

Bored, I found myself experimenting with other parts of the dish. I decided to go a little crazy and add the cilantro to the noodles and meatballs and I’m glad I did. It gave a fresh taste to the same flavor I had been sampling again and again. After I had using up the cilantro however, I looked down in disappointment knowing that I’m going to have to go to the unflavored beef Noodles and Company Highland served me, but when I saw I still had 5 meatballs left, I smiled knowing that I was still in flavor country. 

 

Noodles and Company Highland Was A Terrible Lesson In Food, But A Great Lesson In Psychology

Sometimes you’re so happy you’ll gladly say “take my money.” Other times you just feel like they took your money. If the meat was properly seasoned in the noodles, I might have felt the former, but since I had to spend an extra $5 to get that experience (about $15 between the two), I definitely feel the latter. 

It is clear to me now that the noodles are supposed to be the star of the show, not the meat. The name “Noodles and Company” is exactly that. It’s like going to a party your new friend charged you for only to find out he is not the host. The least costly part of the meal (the ramen noodles) is what you are supposed to get excited about. At about $10, that is hard to stomach.

You know how when you were a kid and you made a crayon drawing and your parents tell you that it looks so good? Well, imagine if you were to turn around and ask your parents to buy the drawing for $10. That sums up Noodles and Company Highland perfectly.