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Happy Chefsgiving: Olga and Raul Reyes

by Steven Doyle

Thanksgiving is upon us once again and all the gobblers are running for cover. To get you in the mood for a little fun and relaxation we asked a few chefs around Dallas several questions so we get our dinner cooked just right. We will run their answers both today and tomorrow, so check back often to see how your favorite chef weighs in on the holiday.

Olga and Raul Reyes operate Mesa Veracruz Coastal Cuisine, their family restaurant in Oak Cliff, and offer their holiday greetings. The restaurant is a beautiful oasis and offers authentic interior Mexican cuisine such as their beautiful house-made moles and fresh and bountiful seafood dishes. They are an adorable couple that offers simple hospitality in a world where the word often falls unnoticed.

When you go to Mesa next, ask Raul to play a tune for you on his guitar. He can make up a special song just for you and your family.

Read what the Reyes sent us this holiday season.   

What are some Reyes family turkey tips?

Perfect turkey has to be bought at a ranch! Fresh Cut (Our family goes to pleasant grove to Cepeda farm) to buy our fresh Guajolote!

Fresh or canned cranberries?

Fresh cranberry sauce (Olga’s recipe) this serves about 8-10 people. 1 1/2 pounds of cranberries, 1/2 a cup of brown sugar, 1 cup of water. Mix everything up, stir (by hand ) set in oven for 25 min. You should get a paste and served with sweet. Lots of calories but delicious with meal.

Share with us a favorite Thanksgiving dish as a child.

Best thanksgiving dish as a child was when my parents had only a few bucks to buy a turkey. We stuffed it with cranberries, mango, dried raisins and ground beef. Delicious.

In Veracruz since we celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey but also seafood an easy recipe for me to take would be an ensalada de camarones) Carrots, potatoes, peas, peeled boiled shrimp mixed it up with mayonnaise (Mexican kind with lime) and served with salt crackers.

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

Favorite holiday tradition is New Years. In Alvarado, Veracruz we have many traditions on New Year’s Eve, starting with the firecrackers and a tradition called “El Pobre Viejo” which is an old outfit made as a man and is filled with firecrackers. At 12 o’clock we eat dinner, have our 12 grapes representing the months of the year. Then we add fire to this pobre viejo” in the middle of the streets nobody can drive and there is party in every street and they are welcome to join everyone’s house to dance. The meaning of this is that you are letting your “you go away” and begin a new year of hope, and dreams.


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