At first glance, this Aurora joint doesn’t look like much - your basic strip-mall hole-in-the-wall with a few customers gathered around a blaring TV and a nearly bare pastry case. But sidle on up to the counter anyway: from that vantage point you’ll notice the piles of plastic-sheathed injera - the thin, spongy flatbread that’s a staple at the table of many a household in the continent’s northeastern quadrant - and the smiles of the people in front of them. “You just missed my auntie,” apologized Samy Wahabrebi when we stopped in recently for a taste of owner Sitena Ahmed’s Sudanese specialties - but he proved a perfectly savvy guide to the menu, and his sister Hayat Wahabrebi an equally dandy cook.
The repertoire is small - 14 items in all - and similar to that of Sudan’s neighbors, namely Egypt and Ethopia: think leafy greens and legumes. But the fatta fool the siblings are pictured with is almost reminiscent of ribollita, the Tuscan cannellini-and-bread stew that eats like a casserole after sitting for awhile. In this case, the beans are dried favas, the torn bread a sort of sandwich roll and the cheese a salty, fresh type rather than aged parmesan; sprinkled further with bits of tomato, red onion and jalapeño, it’s robustly homey and rib-sticking and best washed down with a frothy, smoothie-like quencher based on aradaib, or tamarind.
10375 E. Iliff Ave.; 303-337-7409