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Pork joins the proteins at Noodles

This month, Noodles & Company at the Westfield Mall in Annapolis is launching a new protein: pork. Founded in 1995 and based in Boulder, Colorado, this fast-casual chain features a variety of noodle-style dishes: Mediterranean, American and Asian. You customize your meal, choosing small or large portions, adding a meat or tofu and soup or salad. Each addition adds calories and price.
    The selections are vast for satisfying different tastes. The new slow-braised, “natural” pork is moist and perfect for barbeque, with or without sauce. Pulled pork can be added to regular menu items such as Japanese pan noodles, pasta fresca or buttered noodles. Two new entrees also showcase the other white meat. Barbecue mac and cheese is comfort in a bowl, with cheesy noodles, fried onion straws and a mound of pork topped with sauce. The pepper pork sandwich combines coleslaw, pork and sauce on ciabatta bread, making a hearty lunch at less than half the calories of the pork mac and cheese.
    While part of a chain of more than 300 restaurants, Noodles & Company makes community outreach part of its mission, offering fundraising opportunities for local schools and groups. As part of the Pork Launch, the Annapolis restaurant enlisted the Broadneck High School Marching Band, which performed on October 15. The band earned a $200 grant and $1 per pork dish sold during their two-hour performance.

Category 3 Tony Chicken and Waffle Pannwich Challenge
    In other fundraising news, The Breakfast Shoppe in Severna Park begins a belly-busting food challenge Monday, October 22: the Category 3 Tony Chicken and Waffle Pannwich Challenge. Named for WBAL meteorologist Tony Pann, who will report live from the restaurant Monday for the kickoff, this monster sandwich includes six pieces of fried chicken, eight pieces of bacon, six pieces of pepperjack cheese and gravy, all stacked between two full-size bacon waffles.
    The challenge continues through year’s end to help support 11-year-old Ava Conklin in her recovery from a debilitating brain tumor.
    Donate $35 or more and chow down. Clean your plate in 40 minutes or less, and The Breakfast Shoppe will match your donation. Register and learn more about Ava at The Breakfast Shoppe.

Zagat Annapolis Bests
    Last week, Zagat released its 2013 DC/Baltimore restaurant reviews. Three restaurants were listed in the Best of Annapolis area: Osteria 177, Vin 909 and Lewnes. Miss Shirley’s (multiple locations, including Annapolis) was named Best Traditional American in the Baltimore area.

Best of the Bay
    Vote for your favorite restaurants in Bay Weekly’s Best of the Bay readers poll. Ballots are available on-line or in the paper through November. Winners announced in December 27’s edition of Bay Weekly.

Got a tasty tip for next week’s Dish? Email Lisa Knoll at thedish@bayweekly.com.