My daughter continues to surprise me with her food interests. Recently (meaning, since she’s gone away to school) she’s learned to enjoy Pad Thai. She came home one weekend and said she wanted to find a Thai place nearby that could feed her need; did I know of one already?
Well, I knew of Chang Thai, but I’d never been in the store. We hurried to repair my deficiency.
Chang Thai is a small place, a classic strip-mall eatery in an area full of such diners near a super Wal-Mart. We were greeted by a young lady who seated us in a booth and handed around simple, laminated menus. Yep, this was clearly my kind of place, a family-run hole-in-the-wall with mouth-watering aromas.
Only PJ had any trouble deciding what to choose. She’s not (yet) fond of Thai, and really doesn’t like spicy much. (Even if I fix it. Sigh.) Jessi quickly chose the Pad Thai, although there are several other interesting choices in the stir-fried noodle dishes section of the menu. I chose a Thai curry, their Pha Naeng (which I know as Panang). PJ finally settled on the Basil Fried Rice, prepared mild.
While our food was prepared I took a good look around. There’s a tiny salad & soup bar in one corner, which I made good use of while I looked things over. The place could hold maybe 40 diners when full, with a mix of booths and tables available. The décor is simple, Thai-themed and unobtrusive. There’s plenty of light, and the space is clean and appealing. I got some Chicken Tom Yum soup from the bar, with a few fresh veggies as an appetizer.
Our meals came out quite quickly, and they were appealing in appearance, with plenty of fresh vegetables. Paula’s plate had plenty of color and a good dose of aromatic basil. Jessi’s noodles and chicken was just what she expected, she said. Mine was a classic Thai curry that contains coconut milk, peas, chili peppers, carrots and more. A side of white rice completed a filling meal.
We enjoyed our lunch very much.
We’ve now been back a couple of times since, for lunch and for dinner, and have always had a refreshing meal and pleasant, stress-free dining experience. One small event will always bring us back to Chang Thai, I think. Jessi had her wallet fall out of her jacket, without her knowledge. It made it to the floor, and we left without it. She was on her way to purchase her first new car, and being without her identification certainly cramped her style. I called the restaurant, and they looked all around a found the missing wallet. I hurried over, got the wallet, faxed the ID to the dealer, and everything came off well. Their quick, positive response at a time of a small crisis for us certainly makes us smile when we think of Chang Thai’s family. And then there’s the good food…
Chang Thai, 13000 N Interstate 35, Austin, TX 78753. Phone 512.491.8859. Tasty, traditional Thai food (the simple family type) in an unpretentious setting, open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. Vegetarian and vegan friendly. Kid and family friendly. Free Wi-Fi. If you’re a fan of small, family-owned eateries, give Chang Thai a try.
The (Great Thai Food) Heat is ON!
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