Wednesday, April 20, 2011
One of my favorite salad buffet restaurants is Sweet Tomatoes. I used to eat there regularly when I worked near one of their restaurants, but since I stopped working there I haven't gone to Sweet Tomatoes as often as I'd like. So it was such a pleasant surprise when they contacted me and invited me to sample their new April menu featuring the spring-iest of all spring ingredients, lemon. For the whole month of April, Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation restaurants will offer special lemon-infused dishes:
Sweet Tomatoes sent me some coupons so I could sample their menu, so I took the family for a Sweet Tomatoes lunch last weekend, and boy did we have a feast! I took special care to sample all of the lemon menu items (except the lava cake, because it's only served after 4pm), and I was really impressed at how fresh and lemony they were. Here's what I thought of each dish (I've ranked the list below in my order of preference):
Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup -- Oh. My. God. This soup was amazing! It tasted like lemony cream of chicken soup with a hint of lemon. There were lots of chicken chunks and orzo grains in the soup, giving it a nice texture. It was hot, filling, and oh-so-good. Definitely my favorite lemon dish.
Summer Lemon w/ Spiced Pecans Tossed Salad -- My runner-up for best lemon dish, it has everything I like in a salad: dark leafy greens, a tangy fruit (cranberries), a creamy cheese (not sure whether it was feta or blue or chevre, but it went really well with everything else), toasted nuts (loved the hint of sweetness in the pecans), and a great dressing (with a lemony flavor). Yum!
Tangy Lemon Muffins -- These tasted like a healthier lemon pound cake! They were so good, I couldn't resist sneaking one (okay, two) into my purse to take home. Fortunately the muffins are nice and small, so it's easy to control my portions.
Lemon Linguini Deli Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts -- Permit me to wax poetic and compare eating this with eating sunshine. It's difficult to explain; it just felt so light and refreshing! Even though it's a cold salad, the linguini didn't feel slimy at all, and it had just enough chopped tomatoes and pine nuts to keep it from getting boring.
Lemon Cream Hot Pasta with Capers -- I loved the mix of lemon juice and capers in the cream sauce, it brought a nice tang that balanced out the heaviness of the cream. I would recommend topping it with some steamed buttered vegetables to add some nutrition and variety to the dish.
Sugar-Free Lemon Cream Mousse -- I love chocolate mousse, but this lemon mousse seemed too bland to have as a dessert by itself, and more like a topping for some other dessert (like lemon-flavored whipped cream).
Make sure you get to a Sweet Tomatoes or Souplantation restaurant before the end of April so you can try all these yummy lemon dishes for yourself! But don't worry, if you don't get to go in April they'll have a new set of special menu items for May (and for each month of the year). You'll have a great experience whenever you go, because the rest of the Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation menu is just as good. Here are the three things I like best about Sweet Tomatoes food in general:
* They have a wide variety of soups (my family is unanimous in saying Sweet Tomatoes soups are the best of any of the salad buffets we've tried).
* They serve their breads/muffins/pizzas in small portions, and they have the teeniest tiniest little cones for ice cream, which makes it easier to control portions for kids and adults, and results in less waste.
* Their chocolate soft-serve yogurt actually tastes like it has chocolate in it (it's Dreyer's soft-serve dark chocolate yogurt).
The whole family loved eating at Sweet Tomatoes; in fact, the only thing wrong with Sweet Tomatoes is that they don't have a restaurant nearer to where I live!
Disclosure: In order to facilitate my review, I received three vouchers for a free meal at Sweet Tomatoes and a catering-sized lemon salad to take home. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.