A theme of many West African restaurants, especially in West Harlem and the Bronx is a thick black mirrored glass on the storefront that prevents anyone from seeing inside. This is always intimidating because what is on the other side of the door is completely unknown until the moment you open it.
Here at Sanbra Door, a newcomer on East Tremont Avenue, you will find a long space with abundant seating and room for the kids to run amok, an event that accompanied my meal here. The steam table in the back is where you do your ordering, for I only found one menu in the whole place and it is better to ask what is fresh and ready. A kitchen is behind open doors in the back, and they seem ready to churn out most everything on the menu if it is not already prepared on the steam table.
Small portions are never available in a West African restaurant, and my pleas for keeping my plate light just made eyebrows lift. I had other meals to eat on this day though, and substituted rice for the usual fufu with my palm nut, peanut, and pepper soup ($12, above and below).
This order came from the steam table and was an erroneous result of me asking for mafe and then saying the word peanut somewhere in my request. All for the best though, the soup was outstanding in an excellent sauce that was surprisingly peppery and spicy. The fish within is very nice, the bones pretty much falling off and not creating a problem, while some beef pieces on bones were too tough. There was another kind of beef that was shredded and fatty that was delicious.
I found it a bit difficult to communicate here or to ask questions, so a previous knowledge of the food and customs will definitely be a plus for anyone dining here, unlike the very user-friendly Papaye Restaurant. Technically there is a spacious bar, but I did not see any trace of alcohol, and it seems like seating only for takeout customers while waiting.