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Noodles & Company Restaurant Review: Someone really used their noodle to come up with a viable alternative to fast-food hamburgers: a big bowl of noodles, fixed your way. More amusing than authentic, the cooking puts a typically American spin on ethnic foods, with a stir-fry of Japanese soup noodles, and a Mediterranean salad of Greek sauce on Italian pasta. But the concept works, not because the flavors stick to basics but because the prices make meals here a bargain and because the service is both fast and friendly --- diners go through a buffet line, place their order and wait at a table for their meal to appear. Try the bowl of Japanese pan noodles --- the soft udon noodles favored for soups --- stir-fried and tossed with a gingery-sweet dressing; add-ons include chicken breast, organic tofu, shrimp and veggies, all for a minimal extra charge. It's all formulaic cooking, but noodle stir-fries, soup and salads probably make for healthier eating than greasy fries and burgers. Besides, it is a handy place to take the kids for a budget meal with character. Other locations.