The Unvegan

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An array of cold pasta.

EDIT: This Souplantation is no more, but if you’re into salad bars there are plenty others carrying on its name.

As a man who loves all-you-can-eat, I was very excited at the prospect of heading to Souplantation (also known as Sweet Tomatoes in some places). I knew that they had an 80-foot salad bar, which sounded terrible, but I had also been told they had some REAL food. When I walked in, I hadn’t totally comprehended what an 80-foot salad bar would look like, and it bothered me deeply. Tucked in the recesses of this foul bar, I found some pastas that seemed pretty decent. I decided to start with these and took them back to my table for some tasting.

Now that’s a decent mac, with bacon.

Unfortunately, these pastas were not at all as good as they looked. All of them were cold, which rendered them mostly tasteless. I don’t really understand why people eat cold pastas and enjoy them, but they are certainly not my thing. Since these were the only unvegan options at the salad bar, I boycotted all 80 feet of it and tried to find something good. What I found was some Mac and Cheese. This mac and cheese was in dire need of some salt, but salt would have been to simple for an unvegan. Instead, I found some bacon bits and sprinkled them upon the mac. This add a nice smoky and meaty flavor to the mac in addition to the saltiness.

Again, bacon is a necessity.

After my mac, I thought I should check out some of the namesakes of Souplantation, no, not the plantations…the soups. These weren’t the most exciting soups, but the chili looked like it could fit my unvegan needs. I topped this with cheese and since I couldn’t find anything crunchy like Fritos, I added some bacon to the top of this too. And that bacon was quite necessary. I know that a lot of chili has tomato in it, but in this, the tomatoes were nearly impossible to avoid while digging for beef. The bacon gave me some more meat to play around with, but it wasn’t enough to save the halfway decent chili.

We want moooore bacon!

But I wasn’t done yet, this was a buffet after all. Following the chili, I found something else to drop cheese and bacon bits into. A baked potato! There isn’t much to say about this except that it tasted like a potato and the cheese and bacon added that good old fashioned cheesy and bacony flavor. This was a pretty tiny tater, which was actually nice because it left more room in my stomach for some other carbs. These were the pizza and breadsticks. The pizza was a basic cheese and was mostly dough with a little bit of sauce and cheese. Now supposedly there were two types of breadsticks, one a cheesy garlic and another a four cheeser. I couldn’t tell any difference, but whichever one I got did have a strong cheesy flavor that was much appreciated.

A lot of dough.

After a few rounds of that pizza, which was arguably the best thing there, I finally moved onto dessert. They had some pastries, jell-o and other typical buffet food, but I opted for some soft serve ice cream and a muffin. The cones for the soft serve were the smallest I’d ever seen, and really limited the amount of ice cream you could get. I guess I could have grabbed a bowl instead, but I like my ice cream from a cone, the old-fashioned way. The muffin was pretty good and although slightly dry, could have been a lot worse. Plus, it was blueberry, my favorite.

The just desserts.

So to sum it all up, if you like salad, you will love Souplantation. Maybe they should call it Saladplantation? The non-salad food was pretty limited and none of it was especially stellar. It was nice to be able to mix and match by using bacon and cheese, but a good chili and mac and cheese would have been seasoned enough to start, without needing my help. Hey, if I wanted to cook, I would have, but I came to eat and found there was a bit too much of a struggle to find enough food to fill my stomach right.