|My half-eaten plate of food.|
The walk to and from the lake plus the distance around the lake took about 1-1/2 hours, and it was close to 1 p.m. when we finished. We were all starving, so it seemed like the ideal time to introduce our new friend to Araya's, a nearby vegan Thai restaurant with an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. When we arrived, I asked what foods on the buffet were gluten-free (I already knew some of them were) and was given a rundown of the GF offerings. All the salads, pickled and fresh, one soup, the steamed veggies with peanut sauce on the side, and the coconut curry were all gluten-free, I was told. Even the spring rolls were OK as they were made with rice paper wrappers, though that seems too good to be true. The pad Thai, fried rice and veggie stir-fry all contained soy sauce. I don't know if I would feel comfortable with this if I had celiac, but I took my chances, and didn't experience stomach upset.
We were happily enjoying our meal when the manager appeared with a large plate of pad Thai. "The cooks made you some gluten-free pad Thai," she said. I was so surprised. I was pretty full by then but felt kind of obligated to eat as much as I could, after her kind gesture. Yikes. How nice was that?
In addition to gluten-free offerings on the menu and the lunch buffet, Araya's also has a case of gluten-free desserts near the cash register. I've never tried them but another customer told me they were very good. By the time I get to the register at Araya's, I'm usually too full to think about dessert!