(Article Updated 6/12/2017)
I’ll be the first to say that Thai food and a gas station is not a combination that makes my appetite rumble. Aranya Restaurant in Burnet, Texas, is the exception, however. In its early stages, there was no restaurant. You ordered Thai food from a small kitchen that was run out of a corner in the gas station’s store.
Recently, we were coming back from the barn Newspaper Taxi is boarded at. Being the hungry, horsey girls that we are, we decided on Thai take out from Aranya Restaurant. I ordered cheese rolls, garlic chicken, and sticky rice with Thai egg custard. I hadn’t had any breakfast that day and it was around noon that we picked up our order. The staff was extremely pleasant (as usual). It took great discipline to not ravish through the entire meal while I photographed our food.
The cheese rolls were savory and creamy with thin shavings of cooked carrot inside. I know the rolls are made with cream cheese, but I can’t place the other seasonings. The sweet and sour sauce that accompanied the rolls had just the right amount of kick at the end.
One of the great things about the garlic chicken entree is the perfect portions of meat, vegetables, and rice. There is not too much or too little of the three. Even after the hour I had to wait before I could devour this dish, the meal was still perfectly warm. The chicken was tender and the sauce was savory with a light sweetness.
I can’t describe in words how amazing the Thai egg custard is. I don’t even understand how it’s humanly possible to get the egg so smooth. It’s a creamy puree that is buttery with brown sugar sweetness. The sticky rice is chewy and the white sauce is a salty, coconut milk mixture that balanced the sweetness from the egg. This is a must if you’re a salty/sweet lover.
I’ve always been pleased with the food we’ve received, whether dining in or taking out, at Aranya Restaurant. Burnet doesn’t not have much ethnic dining, and Aranya is a little gem in town. When you’re in the mood for more than fast food, Tex-Mex, or the regular country diner, then Aranya Restaurant is the place to go.
My lunch included a huge serving of Thai fried rice with chicken. The flavors of this dish are subtle, but it has undertones of sweet and smoky, making this a nice mixture. When I’m confused about which dish to choose at a Thai restaurant, I typically go for a fried rice. It’s hard to mess this dish up.
I love the combination of chopped green onion, tomato slices laid around serving platter, chicken strips, white onion, and scrambled egg. Aranya does a good job of not skimping on the chicken pieces. Nor is the dish overwhelmed by large pieces of your meat choice. I hate eating fried rice with meat chunks so large the rice and veggies get lost.
My lunch special came with an egg roll. It was decent, and the crispiness lasted throughout our long ride home. I really dig the sweet and spicy sauce I shared with Afriel…it’s made for cheese rolls but sure tastes good with egg rolls.
Aranya’s Thai tea is divine and offers a nice jolt of caffeine. Typically, I polish off the Thai tea before I get home, but that’s okay. It’s a rare treat that I enjoy.
I’ve liked and promoted Aranya Restaurant in Burnet since its inception. This is another small but growing business I hope everyone checks out. The customer service is superb and cannot be beat. From taking your order correctly to helping you take large to-go orders to your car, the staff is marvelous.
Aranya Restaurant is located at 1015 E. Polk St. (Hwy 29), Burnet, Texas, 78611. The phone number is 512/756-1927. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.