About Town Dining

Discover Café 43 at the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the SMU Campus

Enjoy one of former President and Mrs. Bush’s special dishes.

Named for the 43rd President of the United States, Café 43, at The George W. Bush Presidential Library, is a modern American restaurant featuring seasonally and sustainably sourced food.

Executive Chef John Maas has crafted a contemporary menu featuring organic, casually elegant meals that include some favorite dishes of the former President and First Lady.

The red goblets on the tables set beautifully with cloth napkins, and place settings glowed like ornaments, creating an elegant, yet cozy, atmosphere. Full-length tall windows with high ceilings showed beautiful views of both the SMU campus and the native Texas landscape that surrounds the Bush Center.

For creative cocktail options, order a Texas Mimosa, made with red grapefruit vodka, orange juice, and prosecco; or a Hill Country Surprise, mixed with Tito’s vodka, orange juice, and cranberry juice. Café 43 also offers Texas wine and beer, in addition to options from elsewhere around the country.

As you look over the menu, note the list at the bottom, showcasing the friends and partners who share Café 43’s commitment to local, fresh cuisine.

For starters, I recommend either the Corn Soup, with roasted poblano and lump crab; or the Fried Avocado, with black beans, smoked tomato, and chipotle aioli.

Order the Seared Salmon Salad with dill dressing, or Summer Squash with couscous, tomato, olive, and lemon vinaigrette. For something heartier, try Mrs. Bush’s Favorite Sandwich, with tomato, avocado, mozzarella, and mayo, served with market fruit or fries.

For the entrée, I chose the Shrimp & Crab with spaghetti squash, roasted tomato, and olives. The plate comes garnished with two thin breadsticks. The creamy, buttery sauce was a blend of savory flavors that enveloped the shrimp, lumps of fresh crab, and squash. I enjoyed the tasty melding.

For my next visit, I’ll have to decide between the Gulf Red Snapper, or the mushroom-spinach-gouda omelet. Both look delectable.

Three dessert selections stood out to me. First up was Mrs. Bush’s Award-Winning Cowboy Cookies, served with vanilla ice cream. This recipe is available in the Library gift shop in a bundle of recipe cards. Second was the President & Mrs. Bush’s Favorite Banana Pecan Ice Cream.

I ultimately indulged in the warm Berry and Peach Cobbler, with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream. It was more than delicious.

Café 43 is also perfect for brunch on Sunday. Order the tasty Huevos Rancheros or Avocado Toast. Your taste buds will thank you.

Café 43 is located at 2943 SMU Boulevard at Bush Avenue, Dallas, Texas at the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the SMU Campus. Café 43 is wheelchair accessible. Hours are Monday – Saturday for lunch, and Sunday brunch 11 am – 3 pm. Private events are available in the evening for groups up to 150.

Shrimp and crab with spaghetti squash
Shrimp & Crab with Spaghetti Squash
Berry Peach Cobbler with cinnamon ice cream e1572715889779
Berry Peach Cobbler



Janie Pace

Writer/photographer Janie Pace is a native Texan covering restaurants, wineries, breweries, travel destinations, and cruises. A member of the ITWPA International Travel Writers and Photographers Alliance, IFWTWA International Food Wine Travel Writing Association, and USPA United States Press Agency; she’s a retired advertising and sales professional. http://www.journeymapped.com

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