In 1981, Laura and Oscar Sanchez opened La Calle Doce in small house in Oak Cliff. Now, more than 30 years later, with the recent addition of a new bar and patio, it stands as a staple for Mexican seafood in Dallas.
Raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Laura's father instilled in her the importance of an education, which drove her to excel in school, eventually earning her a full academic scholarship to Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She says the most distinctive measure of her American education was its directive to think for herself.
Laura works closely with her daughter Silka, who was essentially raised in this wood frame restaurant on 12th Street. Together they, along with many other family members, run La Calle Doce in Oak Cliff and in Lakewood, as well as El Ranchito. The conversation, part of our ongoing series of chef interviews, begins with Silka.
You grew up in the restaurant business. Yes, I was 3 years old in 1981 when they first opened the restaurant.
What are some of your earliest memories here? We were just always here. But it was so much different then -- so much smaller. My brother and I would watch TV back in the office and peek out every now and then, but mostly we just stayed in the back and watched TV.