After settling down in St. Louis because Hurricane Katrina hit their home in New Orleans, Somying Fox started opening Thai restaurants in St. Louis.
Mrs. Fox grew up in Thailand, where she finished her undergraduate studies and came to the US to get her masters degree. After graduation, she and her husband were living in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina hit their home. They lost their homes and their jobs. “At first I was going to open the restaurant in New Orleans and then we lost the house.”
Luckily, soon after the disaster her husband was offered a job at St. Louis University and they relocated to St. Louis.
Her passion to open a restaurant was still there after the relocation. When she tried the Thai food in St. Louis, Fox realized she could also bring good Thai food to this community. As of today, Somying Fox is the chef and owner of two Thai restaurants: Basil Spice and My Thai. “It’s a family-owned business,” she said. “We use fresh ingredients. The price is always the same.” Basil Spice was opened over ten years ago and is located on S. Grant Ave and My Thai was opened in 2018 and is in the Central West End.
“The restaurant is a lot of work, but we are happy to have the restaurant,” Fox said. Her favorite part of the whole process is when she sees customers enjoying the food. “We wanted American people to try and experience more Asian food,” she said.
As of now, Mrs. Fox has three sons and all attend schools in the Clayton School District. The youngest is at Glenridge, the middle in Wydown and the oldest at CHS. “We love Clayton. They learn a lot more and have good friends–that’s very important.”
They also hire local people to work in their restaurants. It’s important for them to have stable and long-lasting workers, one of the challenges they have due to the restaurant dynamics in the St. Louis area.
If you’re wondering where to eat on a holiday, Basil Spice or My Thai are good options. They have normal hours during regular days but they’re also open on holidays like Labor Day, Fourth of July and Memorial Day.
Fox’s favorite dish is their Pad Thai. Pad thai is a stir-fried noodle dish that they make with eggs and sauce, lemons, herbs and more. The flavor is sour and sweet at the same time. “It’s a traditional Thai dish, very popular when you go to Thailand. You will see it on the street everywhere,” Fox says.
They have good lunch and dinner portions and even takeout. They get a lot of compliments around the area saying they make the best Pad Thai. “We use fresh ingredients, good recipes,” she said. “They love the food. We feel very happy to be in St. Louis,” Fox said.
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