GIVEAWAY DAY! Noodles & Company + More!

First things first - Cheese-Free 2011 is over. :-( I tried...but after being REALLY sick and getting laid off - I needed some comfort food and Kraft Mac & Cheese was what I needed. Since then I've added back cheese in moderation. I definitely appreciate it a lot more! I also appreciate the support I received and sorry I couldn't hang in longer than 2 months. I'm going to go cheese-free as much as possible for the rest of the year.

But the nice thing is - eating cheese allowed me to help out Noodles & Company with their new products! They have created 3 new "grown-up" macaroni & cheese dishes and wanted me (and a couple of you) to give them a try!
If you're not familiar - Noodles & Company is a fast-casual restaurant where you order at the counter, take a seat and they bring your order to your table. They have three major categories: Asian, Mediterranean and American. Although it's mostly noodles - they also have salads and sandwiches.

These are the 3 new macaroni varieties in addition to the traditional Wisconsin version: Bacon Mac & Cheeseburger, Southwestern Chili Mac & Truffle Mac with Baby Portabellas. 

I went for the Truffle Mac with Baby Portabellas while Larry tried the traditional Wisconsin version (both were free thanks to Noodles & Company.)

The truffle mac was a much different flavor than the traditional. It was not quite as creamy and more "bitter" - like a Parmesan cheese. I mean that "bitter" not in a bad way... I liked it - I think there could have been more mushrooms. I haven't really tasted truffle oil on it's own - so I'm not sure what impact that had on it flavor.

I also tried a bite of Larry's traditional and it tasted much more like Kraft - creamy and thick with an American/Mild Cheddar flavor.

The only drawback to the experience was that the noodles weren't quite done enough. They weren't crunchy but they were hard...another minute or two would have done wonders. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. I even saw a couple of free samples of different flavors made up for folks that were having a tough time deciding. I think the managers are very attentive there.

Noodles & Company on Urbanspoon

Now it's time for the Giveaway! 

I've got 2 giveaway packs to giveaway - they'll contain multiple coupons for a variety of items: Noodles & Company, TGIFridays, Klostermann Bakery, Brueggers Bagels, Star Lanes on the Levee, Allen Foods and Green Giant. I have a bunch of coupons from a variety of the above brands that range from cents off to free product - I'll divvy them up between two winners.

Let me know which of the Noodles & Company "grown up" macaroni & cheese options you'd like to try and be sure to post CONTACT INFO! (Twitter, email, blog, anything - it has to be IN the comment or available when I click on your blogger profile - here's mine for a sample).

If you post to Twitter or Facebook (and let me know) you'll get an extra entry!

And if you've been following the alphabet restaurants - D & E are coming up this week! Make sure to vote on F!

Hope to get lots of comments - it's much more fun that way!
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