Breakfast or lunch at Farmer Boy Restaurant is always a flashback to the 1950s for patrons.

The hand-painted murals of farm scenes were done in 1958 when the San Roque restaurant opened its doors, and local kids and their parents have been enjoying burgers and shakes ever since. The overhead pie and dessert cases with mirrors to display selections, and the wraparound coffee bar are typical of the design in a wave of family restaurants that opened throughout the nation in the ‘50s.

In another throwback, almost every local newspaper and magazine around can be found at the entrance to enjoy with your morning coffee. Now, however, Farmer Boy offers a free wireless Internet connection so you can read Noozhawk, too.

Farmer Boy owner Ralph Karleskint says his family opened the restaurant at 3427 State St. in 1958, when the landscape was open and few other businesses or homes were around. The family also owned an earlier business downtown, Karl’s Food & Fountain.

When asked why he loved the restaurant business, Karleskint joked “the restaurant life is in my blood, but my mother-in-law says a restaurant owner is really just a dishwasher with his brains beat out!”

The bulk of the family’s business success comes from Karleskint Company Catering, which provides barbecues, weddings, party trays and box lunches for patrons throughout Santa Barbara County. Almot every local in Santa Barbara knows Karleskint, and he greets them each at the door as they come in and bids them good day as they leave.  He also has a loyal staff of servers and cooks who are friendly and aim to please.

The restaurant menu includes great breakfast specials of Belgium waffles, pancakes, railroad French toast, eggs with every side imaginable, oatmeal and cereals, as well as a bevy of omelets. Breakfast is served with a choice of hash browns, home fries, cottage cheese, fresh fruit or tomatoes, and toast, hot cakes, mini cinnamon roll or biscuits.

Luncheon specials are served with soup or salad, and a dinner roll at $7.99, and they change daily. Monday is sirloin tips on rice; Tuesday baked meat loaf; Wednesday chile rellenos, rice and bean soup or salad; Thursday old-fashioned pot roast; Friday fish and chips; Saturday Reuben sandwich; and Sunday spaghetti and meat sauce with garlic bread and soup or salad. Saturday and Sunday specials include chicken-fried steak with eggs and tri-tip and eggs at $8.25 and $9.25, respectively.

Burger options and side dishes are popular, as well as a variety of sandwiches, hot or cold, with soup and fruit. Farmer Boy offers many interesting lunch combinations. Every day there are delicious Mexican dishes available, including chili verde omelets, pozole and abondigas soup. Fresh lemonade, coffee (two flavors available each day), beer, wine by the glass and carafe are also offered. Desserts include baked egg custard, pie or cake.

Lunch specials are ready by 11:30 a.m. and breakfast is served all day.

Farmer Boy is a very nostalgic venue to enjoy warm hospitality and a good breakfast or lunch — anytime.

Click here for more information on Farmer Boy or call 805.687.7011.

Writer Bonnie Carroll publishes Bonnie Carroll’s Life Bites on the Web and hosts a monthly radio show, Life Bites News, on Cable Radio Network.