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May 26, 2009 04:57 PM

Sweet Tomatoes

This chain has yet to encompass the entire US but seems to be moving slowly in that direction. In some areas it is known as Souplantation. I am not fond of buffet restaurants, but this restaurant outshines any negative you may have in mind for buffets. They have numerous tossed salads, such as Caesar with Asiago and 2 others that change every few weeks. There are then about 30 or more items to 'invent' your own combination. Then come the pasta and potato salads. Choice of about 8 soups. Macaroni and cheese and 2 other pastas. About 3 different types of muffins and breads. Baked white and sweet potatoes. Focaccia breads with different toppings. Then come the desserts, Much of the variety changes every few weeks so it is best to go to their web site and see what they are serving at any time. The price goes up slightly at 4pm and they add an extra dessert to the menu. There is a constant check on the temperature and freshness of the foods that are constantly being replenished. This is obviously not a fancy restaurant, but you can always count on it to have fresh, tasty, reasonably priced meals.

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  1. I've only been once, to the one in Wilsonville, OR, and thought it was fantastic for a buffet restaurant. It's just an odd place for us to stop to eat between Salem and Portland, unless we need to be in that area specifically.

    2 Replies
    1. re: tracylee

      we have them in south Fl, one in Boca and one in Coral Springs, excellent salad bar, good soups and cheap.

      1. re: smartie

        There's one in West Palm Beach also (Palm Beach Lakes Blvd and I-95).

    2. I'm usually okay with a good chain, but I'm not at all impressed with Sweet Tomatoes, with just a few exceptions. The Chinese chicken salad is good, and a few of the soups are good. Most of the soups are salty and just a step up from Campbell's. The pasta sauces aren't even close to good quality, and every pasta-type salad on the salad buffet has vinegar in it, even the mayo ones that are supposed to taste creamy. I realize vinegar probably help them last longer, but so gross. And I can make better boxed desserts at home than what they try to pass of as bakery goods.

      5 Replies
      1. re: starbucksbrew

        Maybe it is in the location, because I am not a fan of salt and have never found the soups at Sweet Tomatoes to be salty. The one we go to here in Houston is great. It is a very busy place so the food is always exceptionally fresh. I like most of the specialty salads, but the one with broccoli and raisins is my favorite. I've not tried the pasta salads - just not my thing. I'm not crazy about the pastas they have but the breads are really good. I don't eat the sweets, so I don't know about that. My grown daughters and I go there for Mother's Day every year, and I try to get there once in awhile, otherwise. The location just isn't that convenient from my home. If it were I would go more often!

        1. re: danhole

          This is a good perspective on Sweet Tomatotes (aka Souplantation).

          One has to realize that this is an all-you-can-eat buffet style restaurant that serves up generally (1) healthy options (2) fresh greens (3) fresh baked goods and (4) a large selection of decent soups.

          Plus, you get all this for around 10/person.

          Try ordering a prepared salad, a soup, and some cornbread at most restaurants for $10 .... probably ain't gonna happen.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Not only that, but they frequently run discount coupons in Sunday paper coupon inserts that make it even cheaper.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              And if you join the Club Veg you get more coupons and a free meal on your birthday!

          2. re: danhole

            i actually just boughtthe broccoli salad kit at costco, an entire huge kit for less than $ was near expiration and they were trying to get rid of theirr inventory. very delicious tho!

        2. My friends and I like to meet there for lunch every so often. We live far apart and only get together 4-5 times a year. At ST, we can take our time eating and stuff ourselves silly.

          1. Here in Las Vegas, there are 2 Sweet Tomatoes. I actually get a craving for them in the summer, what with the 110 degree heat and all. It's quick, light and tastier than many casino buffets, without the hassle of a casino. I've always enjoyed the one I go to, but my husband is just -meh- on them. Something about being manly, and wanting more red meat, or so he says. *lol*
            Hmmm..makes me want to go, right now, actually...

            1. I love Sweet Tomatoes... I just wish that they'd offer a low or reduced-sodium soup option alongside their vegetarian, low-fat etc versions... Half of their soup recipes are so salty I can't even eat them. But the salads are yummy, their bread and muffins are good, and where else can you get a complete lunch that will fill you up properly for seven bucks?