Cafe Martin

Goobers and popcorn are not my idea of eating well.

So, you may understand why, despite threat of punishment, I often take my own nourishment to the movie theater. I’m just that kind of rebel.

But it appears the folks at the Roxy may have gotten the memo. The once-depressing coffee shop attached to the theater has recently transformed into an inviting crepe, panini and espresso cafe serving some downright delightful nibbles.

Crepes are made-to-order, featuring both sweet (Nutella, jam, baked apples) and savory (ham & cheese, veggies) fillings, brought to the table (or picked up counter side) steaming hot. With many under $3, they’re a steal for penny-pinching lunchers. The panini are also grilled up fresh, the best bet being the Tuscan–a richly filling sandwich packed with ricotta and mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and pesto for $5.95.

Café Martin also serves a mean espresso, with the staff well-versed in foam-art. And, with its fishbowl windows, the narrow café is as perfect a people-watching spot as you can get downtown. At least when it’s raining.

Not so hot: We’ll chalk up to opening jitters the black plastic plates, paper cups and side orders of cheap potato chips and pickles. Ick. Hopefully the owners will think twice, and invest in a little china and possibly some amusing sides–say, perhaps a nice pasta or nip of green salad? Brilliant.

But even as is, the café has plenty of pre-and-post theater allure. So, if you see my purse steaming a bit as I walk into Cinema 9–possibly oozing a little chocolate, and a bit of melted cheese–just wink and smile. It’ll be our little secret.

Café Martin, 85 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, 707.522.0330. Open for lunch and dinner daily.