Review: Exposition Park Café

So good we want to live there and probably could

Cheer up, Henry, because now we hail your genius as a pastry maker. Whatever Exposition Park Café is or wants to be—hangout, diner, watering hole, temporary post office for transient artistes—it is a fine place to eat something sweet.

The dessert offerings change daily, so try to get there when they haven't sold out of bourbon pecan pie. It's made with dark molasses, sugared pecan halves and just enough bourbon to give the nutty crunch a little burn as it goes down with a nibble of vanilla ice cream. Each serving is enough for two, but if you share, you'll be fork-jousting for the final bites.

Warm pumpkin bread pudding is a 6-inch-high wedge drizzled with caramel sauce and finished with a shake of cinnamon. "I could be buried with this," said our dining companion as he spooned it up with loud What About Bob? grunts of pleasure.

Exposition Park Café makes good, quiet, civilized meals at working-class prices.
Tom Jenkins
Exposition Park Café makes good, quiet, civilized meals at working-class prices.

Location Info

Map

Exposition Park Cafe

841 Exposition Ave.
Dallas, TX 75226-1743

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Fair Park

Details

Roasted pepper hummus $6
Pecan chicken breast $9.95
White chicken pizza $7.95
Shepherd's pie $8.95
Bourbon pecan pie $4.95
Pumpkin bread pudding $6
Petite quiche Lorraine $7.95
Closed Location

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Bailey's cheesecake, pumpkin cheesecake, banana cake teased with melted chocolate, triple fudge bourbon brownies...skip dinner entirely and gorge on these goodies. Then march back to the kitchen and hug grumpy ol' Henry.

Before it closed in 1980, there was a place like this in San Antonio called Hipp's Bubble Room. It had that naturally grown funky atmosphere that so many try to fake and fail at. You could hang around there watching the weird beards come in and out, gobbling cheap eats and feeling fine for hours at a time. They didn't ask if you were "enjoying" the food and didn't try to up-sell the entrees or the liquor. Two people could eat a decent meal and have enough dough left in the wallet for a midnight movie.

Exposition Park Café has that Hipp's hipness—by not trying to be, it simply is.

On one of our visits, a slow night for early diners, folk musician Guthrie Kennard strummed and sang under the oil painting of Bobby Darin (or is that Dean Martin? Hard to tell). He was joined by a friend with a bluesy harmonica. Neither seemed to mind the small crowd. It would pick up as the night wore on. Everybody around here eats in here. And even if you saw them earlier, they'll probably be back sooner than later.

841 S. Exposition Ave., 214-826-9500. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to

4 a.m. Friday and Saturday. $

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