I have a new obsession and it’s called Sweet Tomatoes! Sweet Tomatoes all-you-can-eat, salad bar buffets began in San Diego back in 1978 and are also known as Souplantation depending upon the state. This Californian concept combines healthy ingredients, made from scratch dishes and reasonable prices.
When walking into the Sweet Tomatoes restaurant in Lombard, Illinois you’re immediately welcomed by an elongated salad bar, quite possibly the length of a bowling lane. This immense display is packed with pre-made salads as well as endless create-your-own options. Fresh veggies like: onions, carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, peppers and celery are sliced, diced, crimped and chopped. And the bar also serves up a variety of cheeses, pastas, croutons and even low calorie dressings. I suggest the Creamy Cucumber with is light and tangy.
The veggie display in Lombard is neat, clean and constantly maintained by restaurant employees. In fact, I noticed that Sweet Tomatoes uses small containers to house their edibles, which means they’re changed quite often to ensure the ultimate in freshness.
And Sweet Tomatoes isn’t just a salad bar. Once you’ve assemble your field of greens, head on over to grab a drink and browse the bread selections for biscuits, muffins, cornbread rolls and foccacia. I also like to add on a small sampling of pasta, a loaded baked potato stuffed with bacon, chives, butter and sour cream or zesty chili complete with shredded cheddar, onions and oyster crackers. Sweet Tomatoes also presents an array of homemade soups like: chicken noodle, minestrone, chicken and rice and more. You can even enjoy grilled vegetables, macaroni and cheese, fresh fruit and, of course, dessert!
Speaking of dessert, Sweet Tomatoes displays a heavenly selection of sweets such as: chocolate lava cake, brownies, cobblers, mousse and a non-fat frozen yogurt sundae station served with your choice of sprinkles, crushed cookies, nuts and chocolate or caramel syrups.
The Sweet Tomatoes in my neck of the woods also advertises a sumptuous Sunday brunch with breakfast dishes like: casseroles, eggs, waffles, frittatas and cinnamon biscuits. And they even offer catering services as well.
Lunch at Sweet Tomatoes costs just $8.99, while dinner is priced at $10.49. But you must, I repeat must, sign up for the company’s Club Veg membership at www.souplantation.com. As a member you will eventually receive up to $75 in valuable coupons. Also check your weekly newspapers for bargains like dinner for four under $20 or buy one meal get one free.
Sweet Tomatoes’ corporate headquarters, Garden Fresh Restaurants, celebrates 112 salad bar locations in 15 states and their website even reveals calorie information for most of their menu. The Sweet Tomatoes in Lombard is located at 2820 South Highland Avenue.