Since the opening of its first Souplantation in 1978 in San Diego, California, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation has expanded to 61 salad buffet restaurants with locations in Southern California, where they are known as Souplantation, and in Northern California and ten other states, where they are known as Sweet Tomatoes. Differing in name only, the restaurants are known for their abundance of fresh, great tasting salad selections, soups, bakery items, pastas and desserts in a self-serve format, set in a casual dining atmosphere.



Feel Like a Kid Menu

Sweet Tomatoes & Souplantation will roll out a new "Feel Like a Kid Again" menu, which will be available Sept. 18 through 24, 2014.

The menu will feature upgraded classic kids' favorites like grilled cheese and chocolate chip cookies.

"Grilled cheese is a staple we all know and adore, but it's often found on the 'kid's meal' section of the menu," said Kim Menzies, director of culinary innovation at Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation's parent company, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp, in a company press release. "We're excited to offer our guests a fresh take on the classics, evoking memories with every bite."

The Feel Like a Kid Again menu includes

  • Grilled Cheese Focaccia Dippers
  • Classic Creamy Tomato Soup 
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.

Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation is also offering S'mores desserts featuring graham crackers, melted chocolate and marshmallows, from Sept. 4 through 10, 2014

How to make a better Salad

Still feeling underwhelmed by lettuce and tomato? With ingredients like pesto, kale and even Sriracha, Sweetgreen's customized salads are anything but tame. Check out the video above for a few tips on how to bulk up your healthy lunch mix at home.

Creamy Italian Pasta Salad

Restaurant Recipe

1 1/2 cups uncooked twist pasta
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon chopped, fresh basil or 1 to 2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped ripe olives

In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until tender; rinse with cold water and drain.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, garlic, basil, salt, and black pepper. Add pasta, cherry tomatoes, green pepper, and olives; toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  Serve chilled.

Notes:  Feel free to add other colorful veggies, like cut up carrots or red onion or whatever you have on hand.

Caribbean Chicken Salad

Restaurant Recipe


1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
2 cups cooked diced chicken
2 firm bananas, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks, drained
1 (11 oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup flaked coconut (see Note)
1/2 cup cashew pieces
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded

In a large bowl, combine sour cream and confectioners' sugar; mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients except lettuce; toss until thoroughly mixed.

Place shredded lettuce on a serving platter or divide among 4 to 6 serving plates; top with chicken mixture. Serve immediately.

Notes:  To enhance the flavor of the coconut, spread it on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 degrees F. oven for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

Three Tomato Soup

Restaurant Recipe

Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
3 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes undrained
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 springs fresh thyme
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add onion, celery and leek. Saute until soft for about 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth, sun dried tomatoes, tomato sauce and thyme. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Remove thyme stems and discard. Puree soup in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pan and stir in milk , vinegar and pepper. Cook until thoroughly heated.

November Soups

Fall is perfect soup weather! What Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes’ soup offered this month do you like most?

Tastes of the World

Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes hosted a Taste the World contest during the two-month menu promotion in 2013.

During August 1 – 14 Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes offered menu recipes inspired from Italy, the menu options were:

  • Bruschetta Focaccia
  • Classic Antipasto Salad with salami 
  • Tuscan Tossed Salad
  • Three Cheese Tortillini Soup
  • Spicy Sausage and Pasta Soup
  • Classic Minestrone Soup
  • Italian Orzo Deli Salad
  • Tortellini Deli Salad
  • Penne Arrabbiatta Hot Pasta

During August 16-29 Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes featured menu recipes inspired from Asia, the menu options were

  • Thai Focaccia
  • Asian Ginger Broth
  • Thai Shrimp and Noodle Soup
  • Mandarin Spinach Salad
  • Thai Peanut and Red Pepper Tossed Salad
  • Mandarin Shell Pasta Salad
  • Herb Thai Slaw
  • Oriental Noodles with Green Beans Hot Pasta

During September 1 – 14, Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes offered menu recipes inspired from Greece, menu options were:

  • Greek Focaccia
  • Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
  • Classic Greek Tossed Salad 
  • Greek Couscous 
  • Mediterranean Orecchiette Pasta Salad
  • Lemon Greek Hot Pasta

During September 16-29, Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes will offered menu recipes inspired from Mexico, amenu options were:

  • Southwest Chipotle Focaccia
  •  Albonidagas Locas Soup,
  • Posole with Pork Soup
  • Azteca Turkey Tossed Taco Salad 
  • Chorizo, Potato and Lime Salad
  • Spicy Jalapeno Hot Pasta
There was another regional promotion this year called the American Road Trip and the menu featured:
  • French Quarter Praline Muffins
  • Key Large Key Lime Muffins
  • New Orleans Jambalaya
  • Chesapeake Corn Chowder with Bacon
  • Sonoma Spinach Tossed Salad
  • California Cobb Tossed Salad
  • Spicy Southwest Pasta Salad