When Linda Hopper walked into Senate Furniture and Mattress 15 years ago, owner Chuck Berg told her, “You don’t need to buy a mattress. I sold you a mattress two years ago. You need to buy the Silver Spur.” Hopper sold her half of Linda’s Seabreeze Café to her business partner Tex Hintze in 1998 to buy the Western-themed restaurant—which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year—and turned it into a breakfast joint.

SANTA CRUZ WEEKLY: Do you ever visit Linda’s Seabreeze?

LINDA HOPPER: Oh yeah, we’re friends. We borrow coffee filters from each other.

Do you like mixing breakfast and Mexican food?

There’s a lot of Mexican food on there, huh? I’ll tell you one thing: it always sells. Always. You could have a Mexican restaurant next door, and you put up a Mexican food special, and it always sells. People love Mexican food. They love salsa. They love chilis, beans.

Do you make your own salsa?

Yes, we make our own salsa, and when we have chilaquiles, we make a green tomatillo salsa. We make all our own soups. We make our own biscuits. We make our own muffins. We make our own desserts.

What’s your favorite menu item?

For breakfast I really like the pancakes, but they make me so sleepy. This dish [Flying Sombrero] is a really good one, back to the whole Mexican thing—a version of huevos rancheros. I like anything with a tortilla. For lunch I would have a French dip or a burger.

How do you pick your specials?

Some of them are set. Every Friday we have fish. Every Tuesday we have calamari. Thursday’s mashed potatoes day, although we switched it today for the first time in 15 years. People were like: where’s mashed potatoes? It just took one week off. We just wanted to see if they were paying attention. It’s whatever the season is, and whatever occurs to me.

Sausage or bacon?

I love bacon! Bacon’s the new food group. Haven’t you noticed the new bacon craze? They put it in ice cream and name restaurants after it. It’s all about the bacon. I like both.