Thursday, December 17, 2009

No, Janet hasn't dropped off the face of the earth.

But apparently running a popular pasta restaurant AND co-owning a brand new burger restaurant makes a person a tad busy?

She is probably going to draft me into doing the blogging here (guess I shouldn't be doing such a good job with the Burger Blog) so you'll be hearing from me here soon!

In the meantime, just a reminder that BOTH the Noodle and the Burger will be closing at 4 on Sunday to celebrate the holidays with our awesome staff and their families.

Happy Holidays -- Sarah

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Live MUSIC - Cause we still love you!

Hey - we managed to get every Wednesday AND Thursday in August booked with some Live Entertainment!
Tonight, huge thanks to GO DOWNTOWN and First Wednesday festivities for booking Gary Burford and Mark Lemhouse on the Plaza! WOW - they are going to be great!
And NEXT WEEK - because we begged and pleaded (and threw in some Cheesy Bread) Ty Curtis and Hank on Harmonica will be back to rock the Plaza (and our staff!) with their fun brand of bluesy jazz. Mark your calendars for this one - August 12th - Ty & Hank are always popular, and to get to see them for FREE is a big treat! I also have heard that the guys are getting ready to head back in to the studio and start recording, so their performance schedule will be lighter for the next few months.
The following week, August 19th - the man that taught Ty to play the guitar - Gary Meziere and his buddy Ivie are coming back. They are a great duo and we have TONS of fun when they are here.
We are wrapping up August with another local favorite, JT Meier! JT's folky renditions of classic songs are always a treat for me, and it seems many of you agree!

And, for our inside dining patrons, we have Bill Hughes just about every Thursday this month, a little more relaxing and atmospheric, but just as lovely to enjoy.

Let us know how you are enjoying this - if we get enough positive feedback we will continue to work on booking as long as the weather will allow.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Ok - I want to know what YOUR favorite summer things are! Post here and at the end of the month we will give away a gift certificate (or two) to our favorite entries! Points will be given for creativity and humor! Of course, if you want to come in and DRAW your favorite SUMMER things, we will accept entries that way too!

I shared a few of my favorite things in this month's Noodle News, but I'll add a few more here:

6. Long drives to nowhere in particular with "road trip" music on the iPod!
5. Fireworks (even though my 4th of July babies HATE them, I LOVE them. Especially with music.)
4. BIG STICK POPSICLES - the original ones - Cherry and Pineapple, none of that Orange and Strawberry fake knock-off stuff. They discontinued them several years ago - but I just bought 2 boxes at the grocery store last week!! YAY!!!
3. Summer toes. Even better when they are in cute sandals.
1. ICE CREAM. (This will always be my number one answer - regardless of the season).

Okay folks - let's hear what you have to say!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


SO much so, in fact, that we have gone out of our way to celebrate you with live music EVERY WEDNESDAY in July! (for those of you non-music lovers, we are happy to celebrate you any other day of the week.)

Just a quick run down of our line up:

July 1st: Terry Robb, along with a Classic Car show on the Equitable Plaza. Courtesy of GO DOWNTOWN.

July 8th: Gary Meziere is back with his buddy Ivy to rev up the plaza with their rollicking good tunes.

July 15th, 22nd & 29th: Jerry, of JT & The Tourists fame, will be performing his wide repertoire of classics, great to sing along with.

Just a reminder that outside seating is first come, first seated - please check in with one of our friendly staff inside before snagging a table.

Just a quick sneak peek at our specials for next month too: LOTS of fresh ingredients: Fresh Mozzarella, Fresh Angel Hair, Fresh LOCAL Berries (could be strawberries, could be raspberries - we're going to take what we can get from our great local farms: Fordyce Farms and Green Villa Farms). Not enough to tempt you yet? How about a FRESH take on our wildly popular (and I mean people get primal when they eat it) Chicken Avocado special...

Be sure to watch for the newest Noodle News in your in box tomorrow morning! (what? you don't get Noodle News? Well you really should sign up - I ALWAYS let our Noodle News subscribers know what's going on before any one else... Visit the website and click on the link for Noodle News at the bottom of the page to sign up!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday Night - LIVE MUSIC TONIGHT

OK - I know this is last minute but I just got confirmation that we do have Gary Meziere and his buddy Ivy coming tonight to play for us from 5:30 - 7:30. They're also coming back on July 8th, in case you can't make it tonight.

Next week, Wednesday, July 1st, we have Terry Robb scheduled, courtesy of GO DOWNTOWN, along with a great classic car show on the Equitable Plaza.

Then, for the last three Wednesdays of July we have JT of JT and The Tourists fame playing for us, just him and some great acoustic tunes. Great summer time music for relaxing outside if you ask me!

Come by and check it out!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Live MUSIC!!

We had such a great time earlier this month when we got to celebrate our Grand Opening and 1st Wednesday with Ty Curtis and his harmonica-playing friend Hank that we've decided to do it again!

While we have Go Downtown to thank for our live music on the plaza for First Wednesday (June 3rd), we decided to bring Ty & Hank back for another round of rollicking good times on Wednesday, June 10th.

As for the 3rd - Hold on to your hats folks... We are going to have an amazing trio of musicians on our little plaza: Nathan Olson, Gary Burford, and John Pounds. Nathan is a local keyboard player and John is a bass player and has played with artists such as Elton John and just back from playing with Tom Jones . Gary is a long time Salem favorite and has played with Screaming Jay Hawkins, Etta James, Stevie Ray Vaughn. According to Suzi Bicknell of Go Downtown we can expect everything from Jazz to Blues to some really great Funk! Sounds like a good way to kick off the month to me!

June specials are shaping up nicely - anyone that has been paying attention knows we love to feature locally grown produce and next month will be no exception... (think STRAWBERRIES).

Friday, May 1, 2009

THE SUN!!! It's back!!!

I know it's only here for a few hours, and then the showers are predicted to return - so I'm gonne enjoy as much of the sun as I can. Did you know we have some tables outside? We are offering a first come, first seated approach with these tables... meaning, if you want to sit outside, come in & order at the counter, pay & get your drink - THEN you can snag a table. Since we are only permitting people to sit that have an order IN PROCESS this will hopefully eliminate squatting. Until we know it's busy enough, the outside tables are "limited table service" which means we'll run your food out, but after that, depending on how busy we are inside, you may need to come in and get help from the counter for anything you might need. Thanks for your understanding!

OH, and did I mention the new specials yet? Mmmm MMM. Be sure to check everything out - the Ravioli are always a favorite, and the vegetarian dish has toasted almonds and a spicy kick for a new flavor combo that we really liked.

Any Moms out there? Are you tired of the same old Mother's Day brunch? You know, carved ham, belgian waffles, maybe an omelette station if you're lucky? I'm not knocking the brunch mind you - there are some really great ones out there... but if you long for something different (or hey, maybe you went to brunch, and you manage to get out of cooking for dinner too!) we have 2 seatings available for our special "Mother's Day - Family Style Dinner" at our Broadway location. We will have 2 seatings, 4:30 and 7 pm, and they are limited to the space we have - about 30 per seating. Price is $20.95 for adults, $12.95 for Children (4-10). Dinner will feature antipasto, salad, a few pasta selections as well as roasted chicken and bracciola... Call 503.399.9992 or email for reservations. Due to the limited availability, please be prepared to provide a credit card to hold your reservations.

And the BIGGEST news right now is it's time (finally!) to have our Grand Opening and Chamber Ribbon Cutting!! Next Wednesday, May 6th, at 4:00 pm we'll be welcoming all our friends from the Chamber and the community to come in and celebrate. And, right after those festivities, we are SOOOO lucky to have Ty Curtis and his band performing right outside our doors on the Equitable Center Plaza at 5:00 pm! We couldn't have gotten any luckier. (See? I was SMART to wait this long to have our Grand Opening!) So come down early - we'll be sampling some tasty treats during the open house, and then our outdoor dining will fill up fast I'm sure, as we'll have some daily specials to entice you get a bottle of wine and hang out for a bit. Hope to see you then!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sneak Peek: April Specials!

Okay, I'm not going to give it all away... but here are some of the ingredients we will be featuring next month:
  • Carrots (the Easter Bunny will be happy with our Dessert Special!)
  • 2 - count 'em - TWO types of Ravioli for you stuffed pasta fans...
  • Spring Leeks
  • Avocado - OH... some of you know what this means... A big thank you to Megan P & her colleagues at Holiday Touch for requesting this one.

Keep your eyes peeled for the specials email in your box tomorrow.

Remember you can send in your requests for specials - we do try to feature seasonal ingredients so don't get discouraged if it takes a while for your favorite special to make an appearance.

Friday, March 27, 2009

HOW is it possible...

That the Red Lion Hotel on Market Street is placing third for "Best Wedding Location" over beautiful local venues like wineries and other parks and locations? The fact that Willamette Valley Grill - a part of the Red Lion property is placing in so many categories - even those that it doesn't really qualify in - suggests that this voting once a day, as many times as you care to, is only going to show how many computers and employees you have under your control.
I'd like to believe that this process has some semblance of what Salem residents really think... but I'm starting to resent having to beg people to vote more than once to keep the playing field somewhat level.
Oh well, off to the next dilemma... because as a wise colleague pointed out - Does anyone really believe that that chain restaurant out on Lancaster is "real Italian"?
So, just in case you feel the urge to go in and vote everyday, please help out some of our friends:
  • Willaby's Catering (under Professional Services)
  • Coldstone Creamery (LOCALLY owned and operated, even though it's a franchise)
  • Grand Vines - Best Place to Buy Wine, also under Entertainment - Best Place to Taste Wine
  • Word of Mouth Neighborhood Bistro - great people serving great food :)
  • Venti's Cafe - cool bar, great expanded menu (try the Honey Pepper Pork!)
  • Caruso's - SO GLAD they are leading in Italian! We wouldn't begrudge them winning this category at ALL!

I'm sure there are many more quality, locally owned places that I'm missing, but these are some of our favorites! Feel free to comment and share your favorites too - wouldn't it be cool if locally owned places could place over corporate chains?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Statesman Journal - BEST OF

I don't remember seeing anything about this last year, but this year it looks like they have changed the gameplan a bit... Nominations are being taken until the 19th, and then voting among the nominees will run from March 20th to April 10th.
If you have a few minutes pop on over to and start entering your faves... the categories have been expanded to include personal and professional services, which I think is great!
You can nominate in as many or as few categories as you like.
We'd also like to send out big congratulations to our friends, Maggie & Stephanie, et al on their new venture... we'll tell you more as soon as we get the go ahead. ;)
Happy St. Patrick's Day - be SAFE on the roads!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Come OOONNNNN Spring!

Anyone else wishing that doom and gloom predictions of rain for next week weren't true? Floods so fierce we'll all need arks to get around? I'm enjoying the sunshine as much as I can for right now. We're looking forward to things warming up enough that we can have outside seating too...
Here's what we are thinking with the outside seating: we plan to offer that outside seating as first come, first seated and you order your food "to go" inside. After running several scenarios through our operations gurus, this is the first incarnation. Since we don't want to compromise on the level of attention that our full-service diners inside receive, and we aren't confident at this point that we can deliver that same level of service outside, we think this will be a good alternative.
Feel free to drop us an email: and let us know what your suggestions might be.
Thanks to everyone that's sent us their feedback - both positive and the not-so-positive. Yes - you read that right... we actually do appreciate it when someone lets us know we didn't hit the mark. We really like to be able to fix an issue at the time it happens - although we understand it isn't always possible. By letting us know, we take that information and make every effort to ensure that we don't have that same issue going forward.
Oh - one other update, I've been dragged - reluctantly - into the world of Twitter... so you can actually sign up to follow us on Twitter (WNCtoo) and get updates on the daily soup and any other specials we might be running at the time. Check it out - let me know what you think!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Ground Hog Day!

And a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Diane... little rodent.

So the new specials are up on the website - go check them out

The tuna one was a HUGE hit when we did it last in 2007... not sure how we managed to skip over it in 2008... That one is definitely a limited quantity item - we get a delivery of it once a week and once it's gone - it's gone until the next delivery (which I believe is on Wednesday). If you are coming in specifically for that one you might want to call ahead or ask your server right when you get in!

For those of you planning ahead - we will be open at BOTH locations on Saturday, February 14th. Valentine's Day was always such a busy night for us with both To-Go orders and Dine In we hope that having both open will make room for everyone that wants to celebrate with us.

Also - please be sure you are ordering your to go from the correct location... so far I think we've only had a couple of instances where someone called one location and came to pick up at the other one... we want your food to be hot and fresh when you pick it up!

Ok - off to check and see if I see my shadow - I always check later in the afternoon - and if I do? It's time for a LEMON DROP! :) (here's hoping for a tiny bit of sun...)

Friday, January 30, 2009

New Specials are Coming...

The Spanish Tuna special that was completely overlooked last year is making an appearance... and we've got a few more delicious requests that are coming too.... stay tuned - when you ask for something we really do try to get it in the rotation as soon as we can. Keep in mind we do make every effort to emphasize seasonal ingredients.

In order to get the first notice of the specials be sure to sign up for "noodle news" on the website... and then watch your email - the newsletter is coming soon!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Flavor - DRY SODA

Just a quick note - our distributor brought us a new flavor in the Dry Soda line: VANILLA BEAN! It's yummy... like a not-to-sweet Cream Soda. Delicious with our tiramisu if you aren't a coffee fan (which is the ultimate pairing with the tiramisu... but I digress).

Available at both locations: Broadway (the original) and Downtown (too!)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rising Prices... REDUX

Okay, I'm just going to throw this out there. Some people may not like it - but I feel like it needs to be addressed and that's what this blog is for.

Over the weekend, a family member of a former employee came in and complained about the price increases and the impact that it had on his order. He used to get 2 orders of Cheese Bread and 2 sides of Alfredo for a certain price (which, by the way, was NEVER full retail on the sides of sauce, but since he would always tell the staff what he paid no one ever questioned it). When he came in this weekend, he increased his order by 50%, but the total price was now twice what he was used to paying. He had a fit. Wouldn't listen to how much our costs have gone up since his sister worked for us over three years ago... didn't care that being a new location with MUCH more expensive rent was going to cost us more to operate.

NOTE: I'm editing the rest of this post since I've now had time to calm down and realize that it doesn't matter how much of a stink one person raises - I can't change the fact that costs have gone up. Those of you that come and appreciate what we do - put out high quality food for a good value - don't need the lecture. Anyone that doesn't appreciate it won't understand. Therefore it's time, energy and space wasted.

My thanks to our loyal customers that understand pricing in 2009 cannot be the same that it was in 2003.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We've had a lot of requests for our focaccia bread to be available for sale... so we are going to give it a try. We will have loaves of focaccia - plain will be $5 each, flavored $6 each, these are 1/4 sheet pans - roughly 9 x 13 size, should make several nice size sandwiches or handle a couple of dinners easily. Once we are sold out for the day, that will be it until the next day - so come early to get the best selection. So far we've tried kalamata olive and a roasted garlic with parmesan - both taste great!

So let us know if you have any special requests for flavor combos - custom orders may be a slightly higher price depending on the ingredients you want. And if you KNOW you want bread for a certain day, you can call in an order - otherwise they will be on a first come, first sold basis!

Thanks for all your support - we are LOVING meeting new friends and seeing familiar faces in our new location!

Janet & Rob

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

1 Week...

It's official - we've been open one full week now.

Lots of people are asking how it's been going, so I figured I'd let you all know:
Lunches are great! We are finally getting the flow of this new place, and the hang of how to expect the traffic to come in. Plus we worked out some new systems, that given a few more days to perfect, should make the dining in experience even smoother.
Dinners are still a bit slow. Man, people weren't kidding when they said that they roll up the sidewalks at night! This is good news for you though - since you can come down, have EASY parking and get a table with little to no wait!
And of course, we don't want to neglect our original location on Broadway - they are doing steady as well, and we want to assure you that you can still visit them for lunch or dinner, Monday through Friday.

Oh - I should mention that here - the Broadway location will be CLOSED on weekends effective immediately. We want to be able to accomodate more people on the weekends, so it just makes more sense to have down town open. This also creates some more room for us to cater to private party requests that we get - we will be able to accomodate private parties up to 30 people at that location on the weekends. Email Janet at for more information.

Ok - it's almost 7 - where IS everyone??? Please come see us for dinner downtown soon!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

drum roll please...

Ok - we did it kind of on the sly... Sent out an email to our "Noodle News" subscribers and turned on the open sign. And people actually came! :) We love our customers. Would you believe though - the first table to walk through the door didn't know who we were? Mom and a few kids were waiting for Dad to get off work in the neighboring office tower. That's okay - we hope they'll be back lots!

We are working out a few kinks in our new location... for one thing it's nearly 3 times bigger than our tiny little building on Broadway. This makes for an interesting dilemma: more room for customers (this is GOOD!) but the layout isn't as efficient either - which means we have to back-track, re-learn our habits and generally try to fit a square peg in to a round hole.

So, we are doing a MINI opening... just the opposite of a GRAND OPENING. That will come later. In the mean time, come on in and check it out! If you are used to the Broadway location I think you will find we kept the same feeling, but "did it up" a bit. New paint, lighting and a few other details turned the old space into something that definitely resembles the original WNC.

A couple of notes: Our Credit Card processing equipment is MIA. Please bring cash. Or there is a very convenient ATM at our neighbor, Bank of America. Also, please let us seat you. With this many tables, if we don't seat you, it will be harder for our staff. THANKS for your understanding! We can't wait for you to come by...