Excluding the Denny’s and IHOPs of the world, how many dining establishments are open after 2:00am? How many of them actually serve decent food?
Welcome to Exposition Park Café, where the only thing crazier than its “so late that it’s early again” hours is the Wednesday night karaoke. The café, housed in a casual corner spot directly across Parry Avenue from Fair Park, serves up a mishmash menu of pub food (nachos and shepherd’s pie), southern food (fried chicken and grits), soul food (oxtail and mac ‘n cheese), Mediterranean food (roasted pepper hummus), and ladies-who-lunch food (petite quiche lorraine) to mention a few. With its insane late hours and eccentric diverse menu, convention would expect a kitchen full of mediocre offerings. Thankfully, such is not the case at Exposition Park Café.
Refreshing pineapple salsa is initially deceptively sweet, then works its way into a slow burn on the back of the tongue.
White chicken pizza is topped with fragrant fresh basil and juicy tomatoes. Desserts range from the familiar brownie with homemade ice cream to the slightly more haute pumpkin bread pudding, both made with care reminiscent of grandma’s Thanksgiving spread.
Sunday’s soul food brunch buffet introduces yet another angle of Exposition Park Café’s culinary range. The brunch spread includes perennial staples like bacon, eggs, and waffles, then adds the soul food spin with moist fluffy cornbread, oozy macaroni and cheese, addictively flavorful stewed okra with tomatoes, thick and cheesy grits, and slightly dry chicken wings.
(Soul food brunch buffet selections: bacon, corn bread, waffles, cabbage, macaroni and cheese, grits, pork stew with green chiles, and okra with tomatoes)
If you prefer to pass on the temptation to overeat at the buffet, opt for menu offerings like chicken and waffles, strawberry pancakes (with the strawberries in the batter as it should be, not simply as a topping), and the truly original hangover cure known as the kielbasanova, a strange yet tasty plate of Polish sausage scrambled with cheesy eggs served with oven fried potatoes and tortillas.
So whether it’s a late night bite or a breezy brunch you’re craving, Exposition Park Café’s got you covered. With a location so convenient to The Music Hall at Fair Park, it’s not a bad choice for a pre-show dinner either.
Rating: 4 / 5
Exposition Park Cafe
841 Exposition Ave
Dallas, TX 75226