I would cast vote of zero stars, were it possible.
I had never been to Sweet Tomatoes, until a friend urged and harassed me to go. I am a fairly open person and willing to try new things outside of my norm, which eating at a soup and salad buffet certainly qualifies as.
Firstly, we arrive to an under-planned parking lot. A completely full lot, I was hopeful. After a bit of driving around, we finally got parked and headed in to the diner.
The entrance is about two steps from the start of the salad bar, splitting the line into the two sides. I happened to notice that I was the youngest person in line (this includes the group I came with - a group of mid and early thirties). The smell of rancid grandma filled my nostrils and my apetite began it's steady decline. While the aroma of old women unable to smell their own perfume marinade mixed with partially full adult diapers is not the restaurant's fault, attracting that target market is. Throughout the duration of my lunch, there were at least 10 geriatric obese women who smelled so strongly of their perfume and diapers that I temporarily lost my apetite. At a buffet, attracting an audience that doesn't induce vomiting to other customers is usually a top goal, not the case here.
The first salad of which I took a small portion, was a Cesar Salad. The tongs mashed into the soggy lettuce like a backhoe at a mud pit. The dressing was bland; there didn't appear or taste to be any cheese; the croutons were mushy; I had to pay an extra dollar and a half to get cold dry grilled chicken to put atop my salad. I did not finish more than a few bites.
Next, I saddled up to some kind of tuna salad with noodles. There was no tuna. There was no tuna flavor. In fact, the ""tuna salad"" tasted more of cold wet sweet dil than any kind of tuna, salad, or tuna salad I've ever had. I felt slightly ill at this point.
Because of my experience up to this point, I looked to the soup bar for sustenance. I liberally served myself up their classic chili, a bowl of turkey chili, and something they were trying to pass as a chowder. I loaded the chilis up with sour cream, bacon, and cheese. I figured if their salads were that bad, I shouldn't put too much stock into their soups, hence the loading it up with fixings. This proved to be wisdom in execution. The beans in the two chilis were on par with the textureless mush of the salads. The chowder held to the mush standard as well. I do have to admit, I finished the ground turkey chili.
Having only had a few bites of salad and a bowl of soup, I ventured to the baked goods. Again, I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt and served myself some Hawaiian pizza, some corn bread, and a blueberry muffin. Better pizza can be had a few blocks down State Street at Chuck E. Cheese, for substantially less cost. The corn bread was so dry that I couldn't swallow it without chugging my beverage at the same time. The blueberry muffin was equally dry and rock solid crusted.
The only thing left to try was their soft-serve station. I poured myself a small bowl of vanilla fat free frozen yogurt. It's hard to screw up soft serve frozen yogurt. Unfortunately, that's not my ball of wax.
In summary, the food is BAD at best, the target market they're after are people with no sense of smell (and thus the bad food doesn't seem bad), and the facilities are poorly planned.
There are very few eating experiences I wish I could undo more than this. I wasn't born with enough thumbs to thumb down this establishment.