Bob's Big Boy
Calimesa CA

Seventy-nine years ago Bob Wian of Glendale, CA followed his dream. He sold his car and bought a 10-stool hamburger stand for $350.00. A year later, he sliced a large bun in two places and created his double-decker burgers. One of his frequent customers was a plump six-year-old boy in droopy pants who worked for food. Today, even though a number of Bob’s Big Boys have opened and closed in several states, most everyone recognizes the iconic stature of a chubby boy in red-and-white droopy overalls.

Calimesa has been home to Bob’s for seventeen years. Ricka Showalter has been with the company since 1974, and she’s served as general manager for over thirty years. She prides herself not only on the variety and quality of food and desserts offered, but also how the restaurant services the community. They offer a back room with a full-service menu for meetings by local organizations ranging from Toastmasters, the Calimesa Breakfast Lions Club, to car clubs. My own writers group meets there.

Ricka is second from right in the multi-colored blouse. She’d love for you to stop by and say hello.

The dining areas are spacious, seating up to 365 people. During mornings, you have a choice of ordering from the menu or from a breakfast bar offering scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, biscuits, gravy, pancakes, waffles, and assorted fruit. My friend and fellow writer, Joyce Melton, appreciates how quickly they restock. Around 2pm, breakfast items are replaced with four signature soups, various fruits and salads, topped with Bob’s famous dressings.

They’re known for their variety of burgers ranging from the original double-decker cheeseburgers with their special red relish to their Southwest Jack with guacamole, pepper jack cheese and chipotle-mayo with fries and with or without salad. Their original cheeseburger combo with fries and salad, $9.19. Fries only, $8.19. Southwest Jack with fries, $9.79.  

I love their BLTs. Not only are they stacked higher than most with generous amounts of lettuce and tomato on toasted sourdough, but their bacon is delicious. I agree with Joyce, who describes it as full-flavored and not too salty. Bob’s doubles the bacon with eight slices instead of the typical four and calls them BBLTs. $9.19. With Avocado, $9.39. Rudy Martinez serving their BBLT and fries.

If you’re hungry for a different sandwich, you could try their Reubens, pulled pork, or French dips, just to name a few, all served with fries and just under $10.00.

Their onion rings are excellent. Joyce commented the onions were tender, and Bob’s own breading was crunchy. Full order $6.39 Half $5.39

Joyce and I tried the Buffalo Chicken Salad with a seasoned chicken breast over crisp salad, and what made it especially delicious was Bob’s own buffalo sauce and blu cheese crumbles. The creamy blu cheese dressing and crumbles smoothed and complemented the spicy sauce. You may choose, instead, grilled chicken or chicken tenders. Served with mild garlic-seasoned ciabatta bread $9.39.

You have quite a selection for dessert; pies, cheesecake, ice cream, pecan rolls. Their pies vary, depending on the season, and their fresh strawberry pie is scrumptious. $4.19

If you’re in the mood for something decadent and delicious, how about Bob’s classic hot fudge ice cream cake? Their premium vanilla ice cream sandwiched in the middle of moist chocolate cake, topped with Bob’s own hot fudge sauce, whipped cream and a cherry - everything luscious in one dish. $5.29

If you’re feeling guilty over wanting the fudge cake, sooth your conscience by having some fruit, such as a banana - in a banana split. Bob’s treats their bananas right, layered with three scoops of their creamy ice creams in all three flavors; chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. Next comes their sauces: chocolate, caramel and strawberry, then it’s all topped with whipped cream, crushed peanuts, and a cherry. $5.79

I’ve listed only a few of the items from their varied menu. They truly are a family restaurant with a friendly, efficient staff. In the years I’ve stopped by, I’ve never had a problem with the food or staff, no matter the hour. And don’t forget to pick up a card or a tee-shirt from the gift shop.

They’re conveniently located on the west side of I-10 by the Calimesa Blvd off-ramp.  

Bob’s Big Boy

540 Sandalwood Dr

Calimesa, CA 92320



Monday – Thursday: 6am–10:30pm

Friday & Saturday 6am –12am

540 Sandalwood Dr Calimesa, CA 92320