I seriously don’t know what I would do without the commenters on this site.
I just received a dagger straight through the heart. A Scrumptious Chef commenter informed me that Little Thailand is closing its doors at the end of this month (August 2014)
This comes on the heels of last month’s devastating El Taco Rico closure. In a one month span Austin will have lost its finest source of Mexican food and its finest source of Thai cuisine. I just got off the phone with Surin Simcoe, owner and chef of the sublime Little Thailand and she informed me that this is not a nasty rumor, she is tired, and in fact, ready to retire. She added that the restaurant/facility will be put on the market for lease at the beginning of September.
A loss of this magnitude is devastating to a region’s food culture. Surin, along with husband Dick (RIP) brought Thai food to Central Texas over 30 years ago when they opened Little Thailand near the old Bergstrom Air Force base back in 1981. They ran out of a mobile home for 15 years before packing up and moving into a quonset hut-style building under the Garfield, Texas water tower.
This is where legendary host and raconteur Dick Simcoe held court behind the bar while wife Surin hustled the yom nua and stuffed chicken wings out of the kitchen.
To this day the best steak I ever ate in the state of Texas is Surin’s wok-fired ribeye topped with grilled onions and mushrooms. “Pink and juicy” Dick would inquire with an arched eyebrow as he inspected the plate.
It always was.
8 days are left before an annal in Texas history is closed forever.
El Taco Rico obit: link
and what I wouldn’t give to own that old jukebox stuffed with 45 singles. Hank Williams, Glen Campbell, Merle Haggard, Dean Martin, Barefoot Jerry…the list goes on; this was one of the greatest jukeboxes I’ve ever punched a few numbers into. And it was FREE.