Gathering my covered plastic recyclable containers, I head across the railroad tracks to Thai Fresh on West Mary, Austin, TX 78704.
I am a little bit disappointed that there are only 7 selections. Disappointment turns to happiness when I see that 6 of them are gluten-free. "Let's see. Fill this container with Silver Noodles; that container with Massaman curry; this one with Thai special dish; that one with rice noodles with chicken and egg; this one with rice stick with fried tofu."
"I know you can't eat this yellow curry -- it has a bit of wheat;" Jam, the owner says, " but would you like some of this bone-in chicken dish?"
Thinking of my budget and the fact that already I have five dishes, "No, I have chicken at home. But I will take some of your coconut milk ice cream."
As we walk toward the ice cream counter, a tall, slender man, spiky hair, modish dress, scarf around neck, swings through the door and announces, "I have never eaten here before. I will take one of everything!" "Well, that was theatrical," I think to myself. "He must be starved."
At the ice cream counter, "How about a taste of Anise Seed Orange?" I ask. "Yumm, I'll take that, and the Eggnog, and how about a taste of your Coconut Corn? Yes, that is delicious, I will take that, too."
At the check out register, Jam said, "That will be $7.58."
I look at her, dumbfounded. "For all this food?"
"Oh, the food is free. We are giving it away today! I am charging you only for the ice cream."
Can you imagine the surprised and happy feeling spreading from my brain to my heart?
"But, why?" I stutter as I pay for the ice cream and drop a big tip in the tip jar.
"Well, it is Christmas Eve, lunch is over. We want to go home, and it seems a shame to throw out this good food. So, I posted on facebook that we are giving it away." Laughing, she asks, "So, you didn't know?"
"No, I just wanted some of your delicious food. What a great Christmas present you have given me. Thank you so much."