YERMO, Calif. — One of the highlights of the High Desert is a restaurant that takes you back in time with old school-style stools, booths, music and milkshakes. After living in Fort Irwin for a year, my husband and I finally stopped at a staple, known as Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner, on the way back from a trip. COVID-19 shut down the restaurant in March 2020 but in June it reopened, offering in-dining services and enforcing face coverings and social distancing.
Peggy Sue’s is a jewel located in Yermo, California, right off I-15 at the Ghost Town Road exit, about 40 minutes from Fort Irwin and just outside of Barstow. It’s halfway between southern California and Las Vegas. In fact, you start seeing billboard advertisements nearly two hours away, as you’re heading into town from Las Vegas.
The food at the diner has a home-made taste and the atmosphere has a cozy feeling. The owner says they actually use their grandmother’s old-fashioned recipes.
When we first walked in, we were told we could seat ourselves and we received prompt service from the waitress. I ordered the Patty Melt, which was a hamburger patty, grilled sweet onions, Swiss and American cheese on grilled rye bread.
The hubby ordered the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich and we both had curly fries for sides, which is listed as a “Nifty 50’s Favorite.” I gave my meal a score of an 8 and he gave his a 5 on a scale from 1 to 10. To be fair, my husband has high standards for his cheesesteaks, as it’s one of his favorite foods.
As we sat and waited for our meal, I noticed the table is set with different trivia games and magazines from the 1950s, and the ketchup bottle had an old-fashioned style, too.
Of course we couldn’t leave without getting one of their famous milkshakes to go, and they did not disappoint. I got a strawberry and vanilla mixed shake and he slurped on a chocolate one. On my way back from future trips, I still want to stop by Peggy Sue’s, just for a milkshake! They were thick and creamy and delicious! The prices are reasonable, too.
The last stop we made before leaving the restaurant, was at their old fashioned tourist store. The “5 and Dime Store” has memorabilia, a soda fountain, ice cream parlor, pizza parlor, and old- fashioned candy. Patrons have their choice of free Tootsie Rolls or root beer barrels, with their restaurant purchase (I chose the Tootsie Rolls).
Outside, they’ve created their own Dinosaur Park with larger-than-life dinosaur sculptures, waterfalls, fountains, ponds, grass and trees for guests to take a stroll.
Peggy Sue’s customers are everyone from military members, to tourists and truckers—a great, nostalgic stop on your way back or away from Fort Irwin.