Critics love Mesa. Fans of regional Mexican cookery love Mesa. If you haven’t tried it, you should try Mesa and love it, too. There is no better time to awaken your taste buds than Mesa’s Dia de los Muertos celebrations on Oct. 26 and 27. The event at Raul and Olga Reyes’ Oak Cliff restaurant will give guests a look at the traditional trappings and comestibles of the Mexican Day of the Dead, the time when the dead return home to feast with their loved ones.
Mesa will build an altar de muertos to honor Olga Reyes’ brother who passed away four years ago. She explains that, like all holiday altars, theirs will be an “offering the family is giving the dead.” Aside from their deceased relative’s cherished items, incense, candles and cempazuchilt flowers (marigolds), the altar will hold a glass of water, bread and other foods, along with a plate of salt in case some of the food requires extra seasoning. What won’t need to be kicked up a notch will be Mesa’s specials served by a staff in traditional Dia de los Muertos makeup.
Chief among the weekend’s dishes will be pozole. While diners slurp the reviving deep-red soup, they can enjoy two drinks specials: Viuda Negra, or Black Widow, a tipple of black vodka, lime juice and soda presented with a floating candy eye, and the Shrek Swamp Mojito.
But don’t finish everything. Leave something for the loved ones crossing over. They deserve to fall head over heels for Mesa, too.