Norma's Cafe Continues Thanksgiving Tradition of Giving Back

Norma's Cafe in Oak Cliff has a long history of offering free dinner on Thanksgiving.
Norma's Cafe in Oak Cliff has a long history of offering free dinner on Thanksgiving. Courtesy of Norma's Cafe
The Oak Cliff location of Norma’s Café has been giving back to the local community on Thanksgiving Day for over 30 years by offering a free Thanksgiving dinner. Since 1988, owners Ed Murph and his wife Pam along with a team of volunteers have provided a free Thanksgiving Dinner to anyone in need. Oak Cliff and the surrounding area are near and dear to their hearts, and this is their way of giving back to a community that has given them so much.

Each Thanksgiving from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the crew at Norma's serves people who may not otherwise have enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner or even a hot meal in a restaurant for a long time. The crowd starts lining up early at Norma's original Oak Cliff location (1123 W. Davis St.). In past years the staff has served more than 8,000 free meals to individuals, families, homeless shelters and houses of worship. This year's Thanksgiving dinner will consist of roasted turkey (possibly chicken due to turkey shortage) with cornbread stuffing, green beans and mashed potatoes, all topped with giblet gravy. And, of course, the meal wouldn’t be complete without a slice of pumpkin pie.

“Last year was my first year to experience this wonderful morning," Norma's director of operations, Kurt Metzger, said. "What I thought was going to be a function of my new job with Norma’s ended up being the greatest and most memorable Thanksgiving of my life. It is a mission of giving that we look forward to continuing every year.”

Norma's Cafe, 1123 W. Davis St., 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily.
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Angie Quebedeaux is a freelance food writer for the Observer. A "ragin' Cajun" from Lafayette, she's been in Dallas since 2002. She is an HR director by day and loves to “laissez les bon temps rouler.”

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