It’s no secret that we never really liked George W. Bush, the POTUS.
But George W. Bush, the restaurateur? Huge fans.
OK, so he’s not exactly in the kitchen at Cafe 43 making food, washing dishes or at the cash register ringing up blue plate specials (or red plate specials for that matter), but he and wife Laura did have a part in the creation of the on-site restaurant at the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Politics aside, it’s a remarkable institution that can be appreciated no matter which part of the aisle you’re on. We were actually shocked at how much we enjoyed the museum, from the incredibly moving 9/11 exhibit to the exacting reproduction of the Oval Office, where visitors can sit behind the desk and pose for photos.
Yet it’s Cafe 43 that delivered our fondest memory.
There, you’ll find a menu of dishes as high in quality and execution as you’re likely to find in any fine restaurant, without any of the pretentiousness of ingredients or presentation that can overshadow flavor. Plus, the price point is pretty affordable, too.
Enjoy a vast array of sharable starters (house-made ricotta is exceptional), hearty salads with house-roasted turkey and entrees that include sustainable Arctic char and beef tenderloin.
The one dish we loved most, however, was the slow-cooked pulled barbecue pork sandwich (above). Topped with cider cole slaw and served on a soft, slightly spicy jalapeño cheddar bun, it’s an ideal example of diversity in action. Everything gets along to achieve a common goal: Satisfying your hunger and desire for solid BBQ.
Just make sure to save room for the griddled carrot cake. It’s so decadent and delicious, we’d almost be willing to get waterboarded for another piece.