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Peppertree replaces depot, brings Oskaloosa staples

By Sydney Devine

Where the Depot Crossing Restaurant once stood, out sprang the Peppertree. Located on the corner of 3rd and Park St., the new restaurant is one of two Peppertree establishments owned by Steve Tibbits. Tibbits purchased the space at the historic train crossing after the success of his first Peppertree restaurant in Oskaloosa, IA, a small town about 30 minutes south of Grinnell.
“It looks pretty similar to the Depot so far, besides having $4 pitchers of Bud and Bud Light for Happy Hour,” said Liz Reischmann ’12, a Peppertree customer.

Customers dine at newly opened Peppertree Restaurant in Grinnell’s historic train crossing location. Photograph by Kathrlyn Cabrera.

Another eater, Michael Dougherty ’12, thinks Peppertree is a step up.

“Yes, it does seem very similar, but the menu I’m already more impressed with and [it] seems to have more variety.”
It’s true, the menu has quite an array of options, and the staff is eager to make amends for people who have certain allergies or are vegetarian. The menu consists of all the Oskaloosa staples—salads, sandwiches, pastas and steaks. Those on a vegan diet may not be very satisfied with the restaurant’s menu.

Kelly Iacobozzi ’12 enjoyed a strawberry margarita and the double chocolate cheesecake at her waitress’s recommendation.
“I got it just to see what they recommended and it’s good,” Iacobaozzi said. “The chocolate is so rich.”

Another new exciting addition is the kid’s menu.
“They didn’t have a kid’s menu here before so that is very nice,” Reischmann said.

In comparison with the cheap happy hour beers, the appetizers are slightly more expensive.
“Seven dollars for mozzarella sticks, that’s very expensive,” says Reischmann.

The restaurant staff attributed their new Peppertree’s location in Grinnell to the historical beauty of the train crossing.
“You can’t beat this building, you can’t beat the atmosphere. It has great history,” said Charissa Osbourne, General Manager of the Oskaloosa Peppertree in Grinnell.

According to Osbourne, there are differences between the dining choices of Peppertree’s customers in Oskaloosa and Grinnell. Popular items in Grinnell’s Peppertree tend to be sandwiches and pastas, Osbourne explained, while Oskaloosa’s customers favor steaks and seafood. The favorite beer of Oskaloosans is Bud Light, while Grinnell customers prefer Fat Tire.
“The people up here drink a lot of different drinks and the type of food that they tend to get is a lot different,” Osbourne said. “Here it’s a lot more martinis, a lot more imports, ales, specialty beers […] Oskaloosa is more basic stuff, Captain and Coke, Bud Light, Mill Light.”

The difference in the culinary preferences are also reflected in the menus—the Oskaloosa restaurant carries more seafood options while the nearby Peppertree carries a wider variety of sandwiches.

The Peppertree, located at 1014 3rd Ave., is open Mon.-Fri. from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-11 p.m., Friday from 5 p.m.-1 a.m. and Saturdays from 5 p.m.-1 a.m.

Reservations can be made by calling (641) 236-6886.

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