The sign was enough to lure me. Not only is the ice cream cone pretty festive, but the name itself is just funny.
The weather was dim and drab last January, so I was tempted to ask them to light up that neon for me.
What's with the name?
Frosto opened as Zesto, in 1950. It was a chain, serving ice cream, hotdogs and sodas. The owner had financial difficulties and needed to get out of the biz. His manager, Helen only had an 8th grade education, but evidently had a lot of drive. In 1955 she took over the debt and negotiated a reduced rent. She broke away from Zesto, to avoid franchise fees and changed the name to Frosto... so she only had a few letters to change on the sign!
We stepped inside and saw a nice glass block counter dividing the kitchen and dining room. Those expansions came years later. First there were menu changes.
Helen expanded the menu from hotdogs & ice cream to a hamburger menu. In the sixties she brought her daughter on as a partner. Lola was no stranger to the business since she had been working with her mom since she was 10. She added some of her creativity to the cooking and started adding bacon to the burgers. It's hard to believe there was a time when a bacon burger was unique.
The dining room looked like it had been there since the fifties, but it was added in 2011. At least now there's room for the local youth teams, that had been flocking for years.
James Dean or the Kennedys?
I liked the cozy booths, even if they weren't old. We had the pick of a few tables. I could have enjoyed my lunch staring down at James Dean.
Instead we chose the table with some news clippings to read.
We waited for our Toasted Tuna & Cajun Burger and learned about Senator Kennedy's visit to the Crowley Rice Festival, back in 1959.
I studied the back corner for a while, where there was a display of drawings, showing the changes of Frosto over the years.
I so wanted to catch the eye of a dining local to see if he or she remembered Frosto, before it added the drive-thru in 1980... or when the sign actually said Zesto! There were plenty of locals in and out, but all were too focused on their food or conversation to interrupt. I failed in the people encounter department!
I loved this building image with the rounded corners. It looked very similar to the old shape of Mc Donald's, only there was an ice cream cone instead of arches.
Our lunch didn't take long and was served up in plastic baskets. Fifties music played while we shared some tots and enjoyed an old fashioned tuna sandwich and a spicy Cajun burger.
One More Glance
Before heading out, I washed up in the restroom decorated with old LPs, a figure of Elvis and old newsprint wallpaper. We headed out and I took one more photo, showing the now, boxy building and the busy drive-thru... with BACON BURGER announcement. I'm glad the little place is thriving after all these years. I just hope if they expand again, they lift that neon Frosto sign higher, so we can see it!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.