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“Assembly line salad bar”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Sweet Tomatoes

Sweet Tomatoes
Ranked #134 of 326 Restaurants in Mountain View
Cuisines: American, Soups
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Cheap Eats
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: 650-961-2500 opened May, 2012
Mountain View, California
Level Contributor
422 reviews
271 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Assembly line salad bar”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2014

Decent value, good quality salad bar, with soup and minor pasta/bread option. Can be crowded (can be REALLY crowded at times). Go during off hours to enjoy the value, don't go at rush hour if you're in a hurry.
Shortage of protein items. Look for hardboiled eggs on the salad line, beans and garbanzos, and possible meat in the soups - the pasta options are all carbs.
No GF to speak of.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank David P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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44 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    12
    19
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    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Sunnyvale, CA
Level Contributor
372 reviews
180 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1,512 helpful votes
“crowded, noisy,screaming toddlers, roaming kids,$2 cheaper before 4pm, line stoppages & closures, always use coupons”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2013

We stopped by the Sweet Tomatoes in Mountain View. I stopped going to this place in the past, as it was crowded, with noisy, screaming toddlers and roaming kids. I came back for the chicken stew soup, this month's special soup.

This sweet tomatoes is located in a shopping center near the corner of Grant and El Camino. During rush hour this place is impossible to get to, due to the dumping of cars from 237 onto
Grant road at El Camino, making this a gridlock along the 4 lane Grant road leading to the shopping center.

The web sites don't mention price, as the price varies depending on the location in the state. Here in Mountain View, dinners are $10.99 for customers 12 years and older, $4.99 for kids 5 to 11, and $2.99 for kids 3 to 4. Kids 2 and under eat free. So if you don't like noisy screaming toddlers, or roaming kids, this is not your place to eat. Lunches are $8.99 for customers 12 and older. Prices do not include drinks, which are $2.49 -hey, they have to make money somehow!

Dinner starts at 4pm, so if you can to the cash register at the head of the line before 4pm, you can save a few bucks. Also seniors age 60+ get a 10% discount, and a $5.99 price 2pm to 5pm on weekdays. I'm 60+ but I got to work on weekdays. I guess they figure that if you have to work that time that you can afford the full price.

We get there at 615pm on a Saturday, and already the place is packed, as both dual lines around the salad bar are at a standstill. They stop the line to wait for table vacancies to occur with guests leaving. I try to get a utensil from the head of the line, so that I can eat while I wait. We wait about 5 minutes, and are directed to a small 2 person table, past a more desirable vacant 4 person booth. The 2 person tables are small, not enough room for the trays and drinks. We have been here before on a Saturday night where they actually close the lines for about 15 minutes, to not only wait for table vacancies, but for the staff to replenish and clean the salad bar. The people behind us, an 8 person party, end up waiting about 25 minutes, for an 8 person party table to clear.

We belong to the Sweet Tomatoes e-mail list, and regularly receive discount coupons by e-mail. Tonight we have an $18.99 coupon for two adults, with drinks included, better than the regular $27 price. Also coupons very common in the Sunday edition of the San Jose Mercury News.

As with all salad bars, the more expensive items are at the very end of the line near the cash register, including mushrooms, and eggs. They hope you will fill up your dish with the less expensive items including salad, and run out of room on the plate for the more expensive stuff. Also they don't give you utensils until the end of the line, so you can't eat and sample food in line.

Their salads selections are good and their soups even better. I like the Yankee Clipper cream of potato soup, along with the chili with meat. The highlight of the meal is the chicken pot stew, with chicken, potatoes, carrots, peas in a creamy soup. Got to get there early however, as customers will cherry pick the soup for the chicken, leaving later customers with a meatless soup.

Like their strawberry lemonade, and their blueberry muffins. I pass on the chicken soup -too watery, and their marinara pasta - no meat. No chocolate lava cake this month. If you are there when they do have the chocolate lava cake, get it as soon as possible. The kids love it and will strip it bare in no time, and it can take 20 minutes for them to bake another cake.

Not too many salad bars to compete with Sweet Tomatoes. The Fresh Choice on Grape and El Camino went bankrupt. The Cupertino branch is now called California Fresh, and can match the Sweet tomatoes prices, and about the same quality and selection of salads and toppings. They also have pepperoni pizza, but a smaller selection and lower quality of soups and dessert. However that California Fresh is much larger, with no waiting, and fewer toddlers, as Cupertino is a much more expensive place than Mountain View.

As we leave the place, i hear in the background a toddler screaming at the height of its lungs, while the parents desperately try to sooth the critter. I thank my lucky stars that I wasn't seated next to them.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank robert c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cupertino, California
Level Contributor
41 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Nice restaurant with healthy food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2013 credit card Amex Cardmember Review

Great for kids eating vegetable which they normally don't. But, the front of kitchen door might be slippery. Be careful

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Brian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stanford, California, USA
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great value, even better w coupon”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2013 credit card Amex Cardmember Review

I usually go here as a relatively inexpensive way to have lots of reasonable quality food. My favorites are the salad which is plentiful and has lots of toppings including blue cheese, cucumber, and other things;soups including the clam chowder and chicken noodle soup; and the macaroni and cheese and pizza.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
Thank Alec P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
1 review
“Great family restaurant!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2013 credit card Amex Cardmember Review

I love taking the family here. I have young children and the variety of food choices are very healthy and nutricious. Operating the soft serve ice cream machine is fun for them too!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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