The Swahili word ubuntu
has many meanings but is frequently translated as "humanity to others" or "a universal bond of sharing." A one-month-old soul-food shop - it's really not much more than a carryout window - at 4327 Troost, in the space formerly occupied by Royce's Beauty School, is offering the spirit of hospitality as well as daily specials.
The Ubuntu Cafe is on the ground level of a two-story building that will become, eventually, the Ubuntu Center, says Leland Thomas, who operates the cafe with his mother, Ann Thomas. The menu is limited and changes almost daily. Today was "Salad Tuesday" with a variety of chilled salads (chicken, tuna, chef's salad) as well as grilled basa, succotash made with beef and sausage, and a hefty portion of pinto beans with cornbread.
"Tomorrow is our 'Pasta Wednesday,' and we'll serve spaghetti, garlic toast and a salad for $8," says Thomas.
You need to keep your eyes open for the little cafe. It's tucked into a corner of the Ubuntu building on the east side of Troost, just north of the day-care center. Frequent daily specials include succotash with three fried-chicken wings and cornbread, fried catfish and fries, spaghetti, and rice.
Ubuntu Cafe is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; the venue is closed Sunday and Monday. Call-in orders are welcome by phoning 816-569-2685.