peppertree frosty / vista

Two weekend ago when I wasn’t feeling very well, Jake and S were over and I decided that the only thing I really wanted to do that weekend was take a trip up to Vista to try out Pepper Tree Frosty and Danny’s Donuts. I read about Danny’s Donuts and Pepper Tree Corner on Pink Candles of Ridgemont High. CC wrote about their awesome blueberry donuts (post forthcoming) and I also wanted to try the food over at Pepper Tree Frosty.


This is it! It’s a free standing building with an ice cream window in the front and food served around the corner (from this angle, you are looking at the Food window).


They had a photo of what it looked like originally when they opened back in 1953. It doesn’t look much different from today! The only difference seems to be the sign change and the patio that was built next to it.


This is the ice cream menu. They serve A TON of different stuff here! From shakes and malts to snow cones, slushes, sundaes, smoothies, banana splits, soft serve, hard scoop ice cream, dipped cones and more! Click the photo above so you can read the menu better!


Around their window there’s even MORE offerings – ice cream sandwiches and other treats that you’d see at an ice cream truck, t-shirts, and other little bits.


I liked this sign. Reminded me of those intermission ads they used to show at the movies or the drive-in.


The food menu is really just basic, diner type, fast food stuff. It’s not gourmet, people. It’s cheap, easy food! Click the photo above to actually read the menu.


[carne asada fries / $5.00]

Jake ordered the Carne Asada Fries. Not bad for $5 – with sour cream and guacamole included! The carne asada wasn’t the best, but it was decent enough and tasted pretty good with the fries. The guacamole was a little weird, it tasted a bit cold and store bought. But you shouldn’t expect too much for $5 carne asada fries. Jake said though it was pretty good for what it was. The fries were crisp and that was good.


[nachos / $3.45]

S wanted nachos for lunch and this was his order. It came with homemade chips! Homemade chips always look different from the already made chips – I’m pretty sure they just cut up some tortillas and plopped this in the fryer. The chips were warm and crunchy. It’s has a basic nacho cheese sauce. S really liked these and didn’t want to share with us, haha. He was gracious enough to let us have a few.


[deep fried burrito / $2.20]

Jake also ordered a deep fried burrito. I forgot to take a photo of the innards, but it was a bean and cheese burrito. Sort of like one of those frozen ones you’d get at the grocery store, but just thrown into the fryer for a crispy exterior. Jake said this was exactly what he was expecting so he was happy with it. It was pretty small, but you can’t complain too much since it was only $2.20.


[patty melt on sourdough / $3.35]

For myself I got a Patty Melt on sourdough bread, swapping out the usual rye bread (due to my intense dislike of caraway seeds). They use two hamburger patties to fill it up plus grilled red onions and cheese slices. It was decent – the patties were seasoned and the grilled onions were sweet and delicious. My biggest qualm was that my bread was not really grilled properly… it looked like it touched the flattop for maybe 30 seconds since it’s very lightly toasted. It’s nothing fancy but I liked it anyway. Maybe I could ask them to toast/grill the bread for longer.


[onion rings / $2.50]

I also got some onion rings to go with my sandwich that had grilled onions in it.

I kind of have a thing for onions.

Mmmm, delicious onions.

These have a thick batter on them and are typical of what you’d find in a diner type settings. Frozen, decent. Not terrible but not awesomely great either. Sometimes you just want onion rings.


[butterscotch dipped cone / small – $2.90]

They have three kinds of dipped cones here – chocolate, cherry and butterscotch. I love dipped cones and was excited to see flavors beyond chocolate – which is the only flavor they have at Foster’s Freeze (our go-to dipped cone spot).

By the time Jake got this back to the table it had already started getting holes in it and melting all over the place. I managed to make quite the mess, but it was delicious and worth it. They only do small or large dipped cones (it explicitly states on the menu they do not dip medium cones – I wished I had asked why).

The butterscotch dip is sweet, buttery and creamy. Their soft serve is also a nice flavor, I just wished it didn’t get holes in it in so quickly!

All in all it was a cheap, fun meal. I’m glad we checked it out but since it’s quite far away from us I don’t know if we’d make regular stops here. Danny’s Donuts post soon – which is right next door to Pepper Tree Frosty!

Peppertree Frosty
270 S Santa Fe Ave.
Vista, CA 92084
(760) 726-0732

Pepper Tree Frosty on Urbanspoon

10 thoughts on “peppertree frosty / vista

  1. I took one look at the nachos and didn’t think they would amount to much but I guess the made-to-order chips really make a difference in taste. I think I’ve given up on dipped cones. I love the added flavoring of the dip but it looks like all dipped cones suffer from lots of melting ice cream leaking from the drips.

    1. Hi Darlene – Yeah, the nachos really don’t look like much but the kid loved them. I thought they were pretty good, too, you know… for nachos. This dipped cone seemed especially full of holes and drips. I wonder if they could double dip it if that would make a difference. Maybe they’d charge extra or say they couldn’t do it though. All I know if you need a lot of napkins.

  2. Yay! I’m glad you went! I SO wanted to go to Peppertree Frosty during our visit to Danny’s last year but we were planning to go somewhere else later. Great post and writeup. Love that this place hasn’t reall changed.

    What is up with not dipping the Medium! Hmmmph! But man those dipped cones look pretty good! Want some now! and $2.20 for a fried burrito?!!!! That’s awesome!!!!

    So no grass-fed humanely raised beef, organic farm raised vegetables and artisanal bread? I want to know the pedigree of my food, dammit, haha! I want to know if chicken and cows’ names. Seriously though, some folks need to get off their high horse with all this and just enjoy what’s out there. Glad this place is hipster free!

    1. Hi CC – Haha, yes… Peppertree Frosty is about as un-hipster as you can get! Unless you’re one of those hipsters that like old places… I have NO idea why they don’t dip the medium but they do the large. I really wish I had thought to ask! It seemed so weird. The prices here are so cheap you almost (*almost*) don’t care if it’s good or bad. I forgive it for being “decent” and “okay” and “not outstanding” since we ate for so little, haha. I’m glad it hasn’t changed much, though I still want them to grill my bread for longer…

  3. Love the ice cream shot. It’s so summertimeish. I love looking at old photos of places that have been around forever. That’s cool that not much has changed (except probably the prices?) over the years. I bet they have a lot of loyal local regulars that have been coming for decades.

    I look forward to reading about your Long Beach convention soon. Did you get to stop by Surfas or any place else?

    1. Hi Miss Kim – Thanks! It seemed like a good summer time thing to do. Dipped cones are totally a cure for colds, right?! I love it when they have old photos of places, too. I love seeing how places used to look and the changes they’ve made over the years. It would have been cool if they had posted the prices from their old menu, too.

      I didn’t get to stop by Surfas! I met a couple of my friends for dinner in San Gabriel so it was late by the time I left and didn’t get a chance to. πŸ™ I did stop by a place in LA to get some cold brew coffee and I stopped in Tustin at Cream Pan for croissants. That counts for something!

  4. It’s so weird that they don’t dip medium cones… I guess maybe that’s their ploy to get people to spring for a large? Ha, ha. A deep-fried burrito sounds pretty brilliant, actually… especially for the late-night munchies right?

    1. Hi Jinxi – Yes! The mystery continues about the medium cones, haha. Maybe it IS a ploy just to get the large. I thought the small was plenty big, I can’t even imagine how big a large would be. A deep fried burrito does seem like a kind of late night craving and it’s small enough that you wouldn’t feel totally gross after eating it, haha. Jake told me he used to buy the cheap frozen burritos and then fry them in the grocery store’s kitchen on his lunch break (when he used to work there). πŸ™‚

  5. What’s the difference between a fried burrito and a chimichanga? I can’t believe how cheap the food is here. I think it’s crazy that your dipped cone was more expensive than the burrito and onion rings.

    I’ve never had butterscotch dipped cones. We never ate that growing up so I can’t remember the last time I had anything butterscotch. Maybe the best way to intro this flavor is with a dipped cone πŸ™‚

    Fosters Freeze RULES. Aren’t they in El Pollo Loco too?

    1. Hi Faye – Well, I think it’s the same thing. The fried burrito here was really small though and had no meat in it and came with no toppings. Chimichanga are usually beastly things with lots of meat inside and all the fixings. Maybe that’s the difference?

      The best intro to butterscotch is to have the butterscotch pudding at Banker’s Hill Restaurant. Oh my god. Jake and I did an “End of the World” food crawl on the last day of the Mayan calendar (which, incidentally, I never blogged about) and it was my “End of the World” dessert heehee. But the dipped cones are also tasty!

      Yeah, Fosters is also in El Pollo Loco but it doesn’t taste the same to me! I love the Allied Gardens one. I think they use French Vanilla soft serve which tastes so good (it’s slightly yellow-ish hue).

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