On my recent trip to
We went on a very hot day – predicted to be 99 degrees and it felt hotter. We went for lunch on a Monday at around It was one of those days that you really do not feel like eating because of the heat – especially a large meal. Well, that did not discourage the Sweet Tomatoes patrons because the restaurant was almost full. This is a place for business people to have lunch as well as families and shoppers. The restaurant is large – perhaps about three quarters the size of an Old Country Buffet, Golden Corral, or Ryans.
Entering the restaurant we were a bit confused. As we entered we were faced with the beginning of the salad bar stretching out down the entrance with the cashiers at the other end. The salad bar had rails for trays along each side and each side was either the same or easily accessed the other side. An employee standing inside the door handed each person who entered a tray and directed them onto the line that went down the salad bar. There was a large sign to explain things but basically it said to take a tray, take a plate, and create your salad. We took plates and followed along the line wondering to each other how one would go back to the salad bar if the cashier is at the end and it is necessary to come through the line if you were to come back for more salad. I started wondering if this was really a buffet or all you care to eat restaurant – but the signs inside all did say buffet and all you can eat. We went along and took salad.
There were salad greens to take at the beginning and several special prepared green salads that followed, I took two of these special salads – the Caesar and a Chinese chicken salad called Wonton Chicken Happiness Salad. I also took a prepared noodle salad that had the name tuna in it but no tuna listed on the ingredients. I had decided that I was not going to fill up on the tossed salad. Many were filling more than one plate full of salad and the many, many toppings and dressings that were offered. If you can think of a salad topping they had it. They had small cups of chicken to top salads but there was a sign under the cups stating that the chicken cost $1.25 extra for one small serving. This struck me as odd but my wife speculates that they do this so that someone does not make a meal of chicken (though if you take the chicken noodle soup – which I will say more about later – you could eat all the chicken you desired. As we got toward the end we were approaching the two cashiers – one on each side of the salad bar right on the bar. Just before you reach the cashier you are asked for your drink order. You are given glasses with ice. If you would like just water at no charge you are given a blue colored glass. All other glasses are clear. We paid for our lunches and my wife asked the cashier what to do if one wants more salad. We were told that you just come back through with your paid receipt. Fair enough!
We sat down and discovered that on each table as part of the little advertising platform was a card to signal that the table is occupied. This is great and comical! It said “See you next thyme” on the back to signal that you have left the table. We set the card and went for drinks. The soft drink bar is extensive and there are signs encouraging you to mix the drinks to create your own. There were fruit juices, coke soda products, “sweet” tea, and “unsweet” ice tea, lemonade, etc. This was one of the best soft drink bars that I have ever seen in a buffet. We returned to our table with our drinks and saw that everyone around us took everything off their trays and put them on the side of the table. Soon someone came to pick them up.
Moving along the hot bar there was a baked potato bar that included both baked potatoes and baked sweet potatoes, each wrapped in foil. There were little bowls to put the potato in and there were hot and cold toppings. There was melted cheese and a light bean chili.
It was time to turn that little card over to the side that said, “See you next thyme!” and leave. We had a great lunch and this would have made an equally good and filling dinner. We really did not need to know how to get back to the salad bar because we had so much without a return trip, but had we wanted to it would have been no problem! Despite the change in price from lunch to dinner I believe that the menu remains the same all day.
Service was very good. Dishes were cleared regularly from the table. You get your own drinks and refills. The room, the tables, the buffet bars, the floors, and everything was clean. The room was very pleasantly decorated. There was no smoking in this restaurant (even though this is
Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation is a must try! I highly recommend it assuming that they are all like the one that I had the pleasure to try. If any of our readers have been to another location please share your experience in our comments. If you live in