Everyone keeps asking me what some of my favorite restaurants are in Austin so far, and Thai Fresh is 100 percent on the top five list. When you need outstanding Asian flavors, curry’s, pastes, and even fresh vegetables, this place has it all. They even have cooking classes, sauces for sale, and a gluten-free bakery. You know when you eat at some hole in the wall spots and that chicken of yours looks a little questionable or the plate has a film of oil surrounding it? No need to worry about that here. The produce and proteins are trustworthy all grown and raised locally in Texas, and each dish pops with colorful flavor. It’s extremely no frills. There are a few patio tables, and then two separate sides of the restaurant: one to the left which as the bakery so you can stare down ice cream and peanut butter cake during your entire meal and one to the right where the kitchen is and where other seating is behind a book shelf (more or less) with all their food products on sale. The natural lighting during the day is beautiful and the floors are cement making it pretty causal for lunch or dinner.
I’m not the type of person that goes back to a restaurant too regularly or would even order the same thing because I have this adventurous side to me when it comes to food. I don’t want to miss out on discovering something even better at another restaurant or learning about foods I’ve never tried. However, Thai Fresh is the exception to the rule. I can’t stop coming here, and I can’t stop ordering the Pad Prik King stir-fry which is red curry paste (which they sell in the store) with kaffir lime leaves, and mixed seasonal vegetables. I prefer to add the shrimp over the chicken, pork belly, or beef. Make sure you get the brown rice. I laugh as I write this but it really is the best brown rice I’ve ever had. It’s a bit sticky and wet and couldn’t be more perfect to soak up that curry paste. It’s spicy and sweet at the same time and a little bit thicker than a traditional curry. This stir-fry will forever have a place in my heart. I will say that it’s much better when you eat it at the restaurant than when you take-out.
If you want something light they offer Mixed Vegetables sautéed with soy sauce and garlic or even a “Love Meal” which is sautéed with ginger and olive oil that I want to try next. They offer green, masaman, yellow, and red curries as well as Thai Fried Rice, Pad Sea Ew, and Pad Thai. My favorite noodles are the Drunken Noodles aka “Pad Kee Mao” which is a flat rice noodle with mushrooms, onion, bell peppers, and Thai basil.
In the bakery you can choose amongst: Coffee Cakes, Salty Caramel Brownies, Cookies, Fruit Pies, Cakes, and Vegan Ice Cream flavors such as: Salty Tamarind, Minch Chocolate Chip, Sweet Potato Pie, Golden Milk Turmeric, Dark Chocolate, etc.
Also, be aware that tip is included in the price of your meal so if you think the prices look a little high on the menu, know that is all you are paying.