Thai Pepper is a storefront with just ten tables and a cash register stuck in one of those strip malls that only Aurora can produce, with tiny joints offering Mexican, Thai and Persian fare tucked between the tanning salons and international travel agencies. Thai Pepper's food is plain, simple and blissfully good -- and its artful curries and sweet Thai iced coffee make for a cheaper, much better lunch than what's down the street at Mickey D's.
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I've always been a little creeped out in empty restaurants. There's that uncomfortable sense of being watched -- because there's no one else in the dining room to attract any of the staff's attention. I feel like I ought to whisper,...