Sweet Tomatoes – Albuquerque, New Mexico
In the early 1980s, Albuquerque native and Tokyo Olympian Buster Quist (whose brother Terry I worked for at the time) launched within the Coronado mall, one of the Duke City’s very first salad bars. The salad bar concept was a few years ahead of its time and the restaurant venture went belly up—a condition portly Americans have, not coincidentally, experienced en masse (no pun intended) over the years.
Salad has been a popular dietary staple for a long time, but only in recent years have creative cuisine crafters added imagination, flair and flavor to what used to be bland and unimaginative greenery. The lack of imagination in crafting salads has always reminded dieters that the word “diet” is simply “die” without the letter “t.” Today restaurants such as Sweet Tomatoes have added a creative flair that includes high calorie ingredients that can be diet devastating.
At Sweet Tomatoes, a burgeoning franchise, it will take self-discipline to steer clear of such diet destroying delicacies as the chocolate chip muffins, chocolate muffins, warm apple cobbler, Asiago focaccia and tomato focaccia bread, all of which are not only tempting, but pretty good.
Sweet Tomatoes lets you craft every salad combination conceivable with a bounteous array of options and dressings. From among the daily offerings, the wonton salad is also first rate while the Tarragon tuna salad is a paragon of macaroni magnificence. It is one of my very favorite macaroni salads anywhere.
Limited time taste treats which will hopefully be well enough received to make it to the daily menu include a Mandarin spinach tossed salad with a tangy citrus sauce and crunchy walnuts. Another limited time favorite is the Dijon potato salad with garlic dill vinaigrette. Even better is the limited time edition gorgonzola spinach salad which I improve upon by adding blue cheese crumbles. A fourth limited time salad which captured our fancy is the “Strawberry Fields” (but not forever) salad with sliced strawberries, raisins and a vinaigrette dressing to embolden the entire experience.
Sweet Tomatoes serves soups to warm the cockles of your heart. I must admit to indulging on the chili on occasion because it reminds me of the limited chili options (usually just Wendy’s) I had when living in Massachusetts from 1977-1979. (For my penance, I’ll say 500 Hail Hatch prayers.)
At Sweet Tomatoes you can get a good, healthy meal at a reasonable price and come away quite satisfied. You can also indulge in a high carbohydrate, high calorie meal. The choices are delicious.
10126 Coors Blvd, N.W.
LATEST VISIT: 22 February 2009
# OF VISITS: 12
BEST BET: Gorgonzola Spinach Salad, Wonton Salad