Presidential People Watching: 34 Reasons to Visit Café 43

Café 43 in the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is a wonderful restaurant.

The space is spectacular, the service is friendly and professional, and the food is delicious.

Need more reasons to go? Here are 34 of them:

1. The space is beautiful, airy, and bright, with floor-to-ceiling windows.

2. There is an outside shaded patio where you might see little bunnies hopping around.

3. Paintings from Texas artists hang on the walls.

4. Many staff members have backgrounds in luxury hospitality, including The Mansion on Turtle Creek.

5. Most hospitality and kitchen team members have been in place since opening day in 2013.

6. The former president and First Lady were involved in creating the menu inspired by some of Laura Bush’s favorite dishes.

7. The menu is local first, then regional, and Texas-sourced.

8. The chef, John Maas, graduated from Dallas College at El Centro’s exceptional culinary program.

9. There is no broccoli on the menu, even though it was 43’s father, President George H.W. Bush, who despised it.

10. The Bushes aren’t big fans of beets, raw onion, or garlic.

11. You will not find menu items with those ingredients.

12. The Bushes love asparagus, and they are frequently on the menu.

13. The menu changes seasonally.

14. The pecan-crusted chicken looks like a west Texas landscape, but it’s as moist as Houston in the summer and delicious.

15. The summer menu includes a stunning grilled peach, heirloom tomato, and burrata salad.

16. President Bush loves ice cream, so Café 43 has an ice cream maker.

17. His favorite flavor is Banana Pecan, but he rarely orders it anymore.

18. Saturday brunch.

19. The Southern Benedict with pulled barbecue pork, buttermilk biscuits, andouille gravy, and asparagus is delicious.

20. You can enjoy cocktails, beer, and wine with your meal.

21. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.

22. You might see international statesmen and women dining there, but the staff is discreet, and they don’t serve and tell.

23. Chef Maas says he doesn’t get nervous cooking for world leaders.

24. There is no steak on the menu because the price would be more than $20.

25. Mrs. Bush wants approachable menu items and prices.

26. Most guests are from out of state and gravitate to “Texan” dishes such as chicken enchiladas and burgers.

27. This culinary team provides the cuisine for all events at the Bush Center.

28. That includes private parties, weddings, and corporate events.

29. The restaurant closes at 3 p.m., so it is an excellent venue for hosting events.

30. You don’t need to buy a ticket to the museum to visit the café.

31. Dining at Café 43 is such a pleasant experience, it should slip into your regular rotation.

32. The library and museum are beautifully done and worth a visit.

33. Café 43 is on OpenTable.

34. I highly recommend a visit to Café 43.

Kersten Rettig

Kersten Rettig is the only DFW Food/Travel writer with luxury hospitality leadership experience and a former restaurant owner, employee, and chief marketing officer. Kersten's worked on the inside and has the insight and experience to tell the stories to the outside. She's a Park Cities resident, mom, wife and a decent cook. Follow her on Instagram @KerstenEats.

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