Three months ago, Oxford native Kay Fox set out to show her two sons and six grandchildren that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
“I was born and raised on my mom’s homemade soul food,” says Fox, who opened The Soul Food Kitchen at 2028 University Avenue this past May. “Having the restaurant lets me share my recipes and mingle with the community.” When school isn’t in session, you’ll even find one of Fox’s grandsons and a local minister, Xkylan Johnson, greeting customers and running the register.
Lisa Cole, an experienced local cook who has worked in restaurants such as Beacon and Mama Jo’s, came on board to help Fox create the menu she always searched for, but couldn’t find. “Lisa and I have a soul food recipe book and make everything from scratch” says Fox. “It may take a little longer, but that’s what makes it good.”
Popular menu items at The Soul Food Kitchen include Fox’s famous fried chicken, catfish, ribs, hamburgers and wings. If you’re looking for something different, look no further than the daily specials. “We have soul food that you can’t find other places, like chitlins, pig’s feet, neck bone and turkey wings,” says Fox. “We add signature seasonings to make it our own.”
Lunch plates at The Soul Food Kitchen include your choice of a meat, two sides, bread and a tea. Those with a sweet tooth will find homemade desserts on the menu ranging from banana pudding to peach cobbler and lemon buttercream cake.
While Fox says that many hurried customers grab lunch to go from the walk-up window, there’s also a small outdoor dining area if you’d like to sit a spell. When you have zero time to spare, the drive-through window is a lifesaver; just call in your order and pick it up ‘round back. Catering orders are also becoming popular at The Soul Food Kitchen, with plenty of comfort foods to choose from for tailgating and family gatherings.
In mid-September, Fox will expand the restaurant’s hours and add breakfast. “We’ll open at 5 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.,” she says. “Our breakfast menu will include eggs, bacon, country ham, grits, toast, breakfast casserole and more.” Currently, the restaurant is open Monday through Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Lunch and catering orders can be called in to 662-236-1188.
“I feel so blessed,” says Fox. “It feels like I’m making more than soul food; I’m making food for the soul.”
Liz Barrett Foster is an award-winning journalist who specializes in topics ranging from pizza to restaurants to business marketing. Author of the recently published Pizza: A Slice of American History, Liz’s first book was a direct result of eight years (and counting) on the editorial staff of the leading pizza industry publication, PMQ Pizza Magazine. Liz began the popular restaurant information site EatingOxford.com in 2009, and is now focused on a new venture, Oxford Flea (a local outdoor flea market), with her husband Benjy Foster. Liz can be reached at email@example.com.