Willamette Noodle Company--for lunch

~update 7/9/12 Willamette Noodle Co is now closed
 ~by KandN
N, what a way to spend your 3 day holiday weekend--at work?! So much for rest and relaxation! And so I was happy when he texted me and suggested I drive to his office and take him away from work for a late lunch on Sunday. I had my hopes set on outdoor dining, seeing that the weather had been beautiful all weekend. Besides, N needed a total change of venue (within reason and a mile radius of work). I had just recently signed us up for Willamette Noodle Company's newsletter, so their menu was on my mind and that's where we agreed to go.

Even though Sunday was beginning to cool off (80? Brr!) by 1 PM, we still opted to join the other outdoor diners. I love that they have shade for their tables, as well as a nice breeze. Since no one was waiting for a table, we stepped inside to ask and make sure we could seat ourselves. Our question was greeted with both a smile and an affirmative reply.

We took our time with the menu. So many great sounding choices! I made the assumption, when I first heard about WNC, that most of their offerings would be pasta. Not so! I had my choice down to two menu items--a salad or a sandwich. I decided on the "chicken grinder made with fresh tomatoes and pesto" and N ordered the "Grown Up Mac & Cheese — with Gruyere, Prosciutto and Peas". Our drinks, fresh brewed iced tea and an Italian soda, arrived promptly, along with a bread board sporting sliced bread and butter. Not just any bread, fresh baked focaccia! Tender, yet with a nice crust and flavor. We settled back to enjoy the bread, our drinks, the setting and each other's company. {sigh}
After a short wait, our hot, fresh food arrived. It was a struggle to photo my grinder rather than pick it up for that first bite. Melted cheese held the chunks of pesto drenched tomato and the slices of tender chicken breast (seasoned and cooked just right) together inside the split roll. N also had a tough time waiting for me to snap a few shots of his pasta. He loved the flavor of the Gruyere cheese and how the chosen pasta didn't compete with (or over power) the overall flavor of the dish. I couldn't determine if it was Riccioli or Pipette Rigate or ?
While we enjoyed our food, a second Italian soda was brought out to N, my iced tea was refilled and more bread was added to our board. I noticed that the two waitresses worked as a team, instead of dividing up the tasks between them. In this particular situation, it worked smoothly and kept customers well tended.
Of course, now we have to return. How else to try out the rest of the menu?
Willamette Noodle Company
380 High Street
Salem, OR
(503) 362-8667

PS. Here's some info from their newsletter:

EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT for the month of July we will have LIVE MUSIC
right here on our outside plaza from 5:30 - 7:30.
July 15th, 22nd & 29th: JT Meyer (of JT & The Tourists)
(and, just so you know, we love you all SO MUCH we are working on August too

1 comment:

Salem Dinner Table said...

OMG! A picture is worth a thousand words! That food looks incredible! I am definitely going there soon and alfresco for sure. My Italian heritage tells me it looks like Pipette Rigate, but I could be wrong. I think Riccioli are twists.