Maybe it’s the weekly coupons. Or the fro-yo that doesn’t melt in five minutes. Or its appearance of healthiness. But I occasionally find myself lunching at Sweet Tomatoes, the neighborhood grazing spot for herbivores and macaroni fiends (that still offers a meat option or two), and I do so with the shamelessness of a naked toddler sprinting across the front lawn.
I blame the immediate seduction of a fresh and full salad spread, which, unlike my local Whole Foods, boasts exactly the vegetables and garnishes I favor. Then there’s its famously girthy chicken noodle soup, which can erase both a bad morning and any memory of Mom’s barren broth. And while I might betray my Italian heritage by admitting indulgence of its foccacia bread, I nonetheless consider taking the whole pan to my booth—and why not? My $8-after-coupon covers as much quality-control beige bingeing as I want. I’m not one for casual buffets, but Sweet Tomatoes is just non-buffet enough.