go Beyond vanilla witH tHai fresH scoop
It always amazes me that Thai Fresh has only been around since 2008.
Walking into the Thai restaurant tucked away in South Austin at the corner of West Mary and South Fifth streets, you’d think the place had been there for a decade. Thai grocery goods and fresh produce line the back wall. Regulars sip on tea while reading or chatting with friends, and there’s always buzz near the counter where you order from a range of rice and noodle dishes, curries, satays, soups and other Thai specialties.
Even though it’s just a toddler in restaurant years, Thai Fresh doubled in size earlier this year when co-owner Jam Sanitchat took over the space next door that used to be a yoga studio. The extra square footage has allowed her to add an ice cream freezer stocked with 14 seasonal frozen treats, a dessert case with an array of pastries, many of which are gluten free, and a tea bar, which features local teas from Zhi Tea, Sesa Tea and Barefoot Botanicals.
Like the food, all the ice creams and desserts are based on seasonal and local ingredients, including herbs from Sanitchat’s backyard garden and fruit from local farmers markets. More than half the tarts, pies, cakes, cobblers, brownies, cookies and bars ($0.75-$4.50 per serving) are made without gluten, and many of the ice creams ($8.99 per pint or $1.99 per scoop), including the ever- present chocolate, are made with coconut milk and are vegan and dairy-free.
Many of Sanitchat’s inventive fruit-based flavor combinations such as ginger peach, watermelon mint and cucumber melon eventually make their way into agua frescas ($2.99), also a recent addition to the menu.