Even before Theo was born, we would occasionally eat at Sweet Tomatoes, braving the hordes of families and noisy children for some semi-healthy buffet gorging. After Theo started eating solids, Sweet Tomatoes became our go-to kid-friendly place to eat.
The salad bar aspect was great to introduce Theo to different foods when he was a baby: banana squash, peas, corn. Which all gave way to mac ‘n cheese, pizza and soft-serve ice cream when he became a picky toddler. The restaurant layout forces you to choose from the salad bar first before you can be tempted by their other delicious hot foods.
A trick: they will charge you extra if you take a protein (grilled chicken, etc) to add to your salad. Skip the protein in the salad bar and get the yummy white breast meat from their chicken and noodle soup (minus the broth and noodles, of course) and add that for (free) protein.
Now, as a parent, being able to take your kid to a place where they can be messy and noisy and still get a decent meal is a huge win. Save Forage for a date night; take the kids to Sweet Tomatoes.
*Note: When I was organizing the Milk+Bookies book drive last year, I reached out to several local restaurants and stores to solicit food donations. Sweet Tomatoes was incredibly generous and gracious and gave us a huge amount of chocolate chip cookies and bottles of milk. Extra gold star.