Rumors of a Czech-owned restaurant drew me to Marbles Café in search of kolaches. Kolaches are delectably light rolls filled with fruit preserves and other goodies. Ive been craving them since my one and only encounter during my winter in Minnesota (photo below).
The café is located in a generic strip mall in the midst of a light industrial section. Stepping inside, the Old World warmth of the interior with tapestry upholstery on the booths, laquered woods, painted ceramics, fresh flowers on each table, wall hangings and plants set this apart from the usual California bistro. A quick peruse of the breakfast (served all day) and lunch menu though turned up only one Czech selection, Zelnacka soup (cup: $2.50, bowl: $3.50).
This was a tomatoey broth with spicy black pepper notes with chunks of Yukon gold potatoes (skins on), sauerkraut, a little onion, and what appeared to be some chopped up slices of roast beef. A dollop of sour cream rounded out the flavors. The menu said it had turkey sausage, but none was detected. Comforting home-made flavor.
I asked the proprietress, Jana, whether she ever made kolaches here. She said no, its too much work.
1770 Piner Rd.