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New Noodles

Side Dishes: Arizona chain plans entree ?in New England?

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Look around downtown Burlington and you may get the sense that big chain restaurants don't do so well. A McDonald's just steps away from Vermont's heaviest foot traffic closed last summer, and the Main Street Dunkin' Donuts has disappeared, too. Need more proof? According to the Pomerleau Real Estate website, Quiznos on Church Street is for sale.

But this doesn't seem to be dimming the confidence of the owners of a new franchise of Nothing But Noodles. On December 3, Franchising.com issued a release stating that the Arizona-based company is expanding into New England. A cryptic Craigslist ad seeking a "managing partner" confirmed suspicions that a Burlington-area locale is in the works. No word yet whether it's actually downtown.?

Nothing But Noodles serves up the starch with American, Asian and Italian variations. The "American" section of the menu includes "spicy Cajun pasta" and the not-so-American beef stroganoff. More exotic are the "Asian" options, such as udon in a sugar-lime soy sauce and Thai peanut noodles. Fettucine Alfredo and pasta with pesto are "Italian" offerings. And it turns out the company name isn't completely accurate. Among the starters, soups and salads, there's not a noodle in sight. Will Vermonters slurp it up? Time will tell