Trailer Thursday: Little Thai Food

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Photo by Sean Dunn

<p>It’s rare for a Democrat to walk to the back mike of the House and persuade his colleagues to change their minds. And for a freshman to do it? Unheard of. César Blanco had a chance to learn that early. During the House’s budget debate, he offered an amendment proposing that the DPS provide the Lege with updates on its border security efforts—an eminently reasonable idea that failed. By the final days of the session, though, Blanco clearly hadn’t got the memo about expectations for Democrats: he led another fight, and won.</p> <p>At issue this time was the Hazlewood Act, which promised free tuition at public universities to Texas veterans or their dependents. The Senate had passed a bill proposing tighter eligibility standards to control costs. When the bill arrived in the House, Blanco, who had served in the Navy, objected with relentless calm. The state had made a promise to all veterans, he argued. The Lege had no right to renege. Crucially, he was not alone in the effort. But what ultimately carried the day was Blanco’s unblinking opposition. He kept at it until he wore down John Zerwas, the chair of Higher Ed, who accepted an amendment that effectively cancelled the reforms, and the House—unanimously—approved the change. Maybe it was just a glitch in the matrix. But Blanco, interestingly, was pleased rather than surprised. Sometimes, as the saying goes, fortune favors the bold.</p>

  Little Thai Food rocks it old-school. Not in the Old School BBQ & Grill kind of way, with a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. Or in the elementary school way, like the Local Yolk, which serves only one type of sustenance, egg sandwiches. No, Little Thai Food’s attitude and yummy grub are closer to the food trucks of yore than the concept trucks of East 6th. Sidle up to Little Thai Food’s spot, on South First, and order from their diverse menu of classic dishes. The owners, formerly of CK Thai, in South Austin, whip up curries and stir-fries from scratch. Just remember: Patience is a virtue. My favorite was the pad ka prow, with big basil leaves, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, tender chicken, and Thai chilis. I ordered it medium-spicy and was pleasantly surprised by the slow burn.  The green curry was a close second: zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant, tofu, and a ton of bamboo stewing in a rich coconut milk–based curry sauce. The tofu absorbed the flavor of the sauce but still felt fluffy and light, a nice contrast to the sturdy (but still savory) bamboo pieces. The only disappointment was the pad see ew. In terms of names, I’ve always thought this particular dish drew the short noodle. Done right, the flavorful meat, faint suggestion of egg, and Chinese broccoli are only a distraction from the light, slightly sweet sauce and the soft-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside pan-fried flat noodles. Little Thai Food’s version featured plenty of sliced carrots and broccoli, but the flat rice noodles were limp, the sauce bland, and the beef a little tough. Much better was the chicken satay, big hunks of skewered chicken accompanied by a thick, rich peanut sauce. Traditional and tasty, just like the Thai tea, black tea swirled with condensed milk to create the ultimate sugary treat. Innovative? No. Gimmicky? Not in the least. Some of the best Thai food in Austin? You’ve got it. 1207 S. 1st (512-567-9299). Open Mon–Sun 10–9. Posted by Megan Giller

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