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We asked an 11-year-old to review the museum’s new Half Pint cafe for families. He came, he ate, he wrote.

This winter, the MIA opened a new cafe in the first-floor lobby across from the family center. Called Half Pint, it’s a fresh and creative take on family food from the fun folks at Stock & Badge (Parka, Victory 44). We think it’s pretty sweet, a cool complement to the new Dogwood coffee shop in the lobby and Grain Stack restaurant in the mezzanine. But we wanted a take from someone, well, a little shorter than us. Someone who doesn’t feel guilty about eating an entire “cookie jar.”

Half Pint menuSo we asked Isaac Walsh, age 11, of Minneapolis. An aspiring writer, he recently had a poem published in Stone Soup, the literary magazine for kids, and was eager to take on the role of restaurant reviewer. Here’s what he had to say:

Half Pint Review
By Isaac Bridger Lowenthal Walsh, 11

Add a gallon of kid-friendly food, a quart of location, location, location, a pint of whimsical art and color, and a half pint of smiles, and you get the new Half Pint restaurant at the MIA. The food, I can tell you since I tried more than half the options on the menu, would appeal to my whole family: my picky 3-year-old brother, my artsy 7-year-old sister, my gluten-free mom, my peanut-allergic dad, and myself, with my enormous 11-year-old appetite.

Half Pint sodaThe menu isn’t overwhelming and includes salads and sandwiches, the bento-box-style “lunch box” (a healthy meal for kids ages 2 to 5), drinks, Izzy’s ice cream and Rustica cookies. Some of my favorites were the Rustica roast beef sandwich on a baguette, the sour cherry homemade pop, and the spinach with farro salad.

Don’t forget to order a “cookie jar,” with your choice of six Rustica cookies, on the way out. The brigadeiros cookies are amazing, fudge truffles with a crunchy coating.

Service at Half Pint is another cup of perfection. The staff give friendly recommendations, for instance that there is horseradish on the roast beef sandwich, so some bites may be spicier than others. Kids get to mix their own homemade pop, and the younger set can wear animal bibs and order at the counter with step stools, accommodating all ages.

Half Pint soda and cookiesThe environment at Half Pint is something else to look forward to. Perfectly positioned next to the large, clean playroom, Half Pint is an easy meal for families trying to avert a meltdown, or just looking for something to fill their tummies before or after a visit to the MIA or the Children’s Theatre Company.

Serving high-quality, family-friendly food in a bright and cheerful atmosphere, Half Pint will fill your whole plate and leave your children smiling.