Both are on the eastern side of the shopping center at Sunrise Highway and Waverly Avenue.
They’re also both owned and operated by the same company, Doherty Enterprises, Inc., which is based in New Jersey but runs 150 chain restaurants up and down the East Coast.
The Patchogue Noodles & Company opened June 15 and the Panera followed soon after, on July 6.
“Even though both restaurants are owned by the same company, it’s not as if they’re eating into each others’ business,” said Stephanie Tandoi, the general manager at the local Noodles & Company. “Some people will go to Panera for lunch but then we’ll see them here for dinner.”
Tandoi, who previously worked at the Noodles & Company in Westbury, said the Patchogue restaurant does better at night than during the day, which is the opposite of Westbury.
That’s because the Patchogue location is in more of a residential area, she said.
Even though Westbury is the second-busiest Noodles & Company among its more than 400 locations, she said the Patchogue location has been quite busy as well during its first month, attracting curiosity seekers who’ve never eaten at a Noodles & Company, but also a crop of regulars.
Many of the regulars come from the nearby Internal Revenue Service complex in Holtsville, she said.
Noodles & Company offers noodles and pasta dishes that range from the Spaghetti and Meatballs, to Pad Thai, to Steak Stroganoff, all put together assembly-line style.
To help illustrate the concept in five easy steps, we asked the cooks to build us an Indonesian peanut sauté:
1. Grab some rice noodles
2. Toss in some cabbage, carrots and broccoli, then boil for 15 seconds.
3. Stir it all around in a frying pan for less than a minute.
4. Drop in two scoops of peanut sauce and toss (while in a second pan).
5. Garnish with peanuts, Asian seasoning, been sprouts, cilantro and a lime.
Photos by Michael White