Bush library’s Cafe 43 serves lunch-table diplomacy

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Posted 7:37am on Tuesday, May. 07, 2013

Cafe 43 is politically neutral.

That is, as neutral as dining can be in the west wing of the new George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

The lunch-only menu is priced in the $10-$22 range and offers everything from Southern pulled pork to grilled halibut.

Once you park — no small feat these opening days — it’s an easy walk from SMU Boulevard past the museum line and into the separate entrance for the cafe.

As museum cafes go, Cafe 43 is better than expected. It’s no Nasher Cafe or Cafe Modern, but former ClubCorp country-club chef John Maas presents a low-risk, high-flavor menu that seemed spot-on from the first day.

A grilled Arctic char came with a corn-sweet pea succotash, the halibut with wilted greens. Another diner praised the turkey pastrami-on-rye.

Cafe 43 also has a wide choice of salads, from a kale-duck prosciutto to a Texas bibb lettuce with pecan-crusted goat cheese. The hardwood-grilled chicken Caesar is off the same grill as the thick bacon cheddar burgers.

For dessert, the menu highlights a carrot griddlecake with cardmom cream cheese.

But the flourless chocolate torte with salted caramel would tempt anyone to switch parties,

Cafe 43 is open weekdays and Saturdays for lunch only (until 3 p.m.) and Sundays at 10 a.m. for brunch.

A weekly brunch menu is expected to premiere for Mother’s Day, but the day is already booked; 2943 SMU Blvd., University Park, 214-200-4302, bushcenter.com/plan-your-visit/dining.

Deals, menus for mom

A few Mother’s Day deals, but book soon:

•  Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse is giving a $25 gift card with a $50 brunch purchase.

The menu features steak-and-eggs for $26 or banana-mascarpone stuffed French toast with bacon for $18, with $10 child’s plates; 812 Main St., Fort Worth, 817-877-3999, delfriscos.com.

• The Classic Cafe, chef Charles Youts’ underrated Roanoke restaurant, has a unique, floral Mother’s Day menu.

Choices include hibuscus-cashew turkey with hibuscus marmalade or beef tenderloin with lavender goat cheese, plus a violet-artichoke cream soup or spinach-nasturtium salad. The dessert is a jasmine-lemon tart; $40, 504 N. Oak St., 817-430-8185, theclassiccafe.com.

•  Six10 Grille in the Ashton Hotel will serve breakfast and then a special brunch featuring a filet mignon jardiniere, a ham-gruyere-stuffed chicken breast or shrimp and crab in a lobster Mornay sauce; $45, 817-332-0100, theashtonhotel.com.

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