Acorn, the New Orleans City Park cafe operated by Dickie Brennan and Co. inside the new Louisiana Children’s Museum, is designed to appeal to different audiences. Its offerings are family friendly, but the cafe sits in the heart of City Park and draws visitors unaccompanied by children.
The space is contemporary and bright, with floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides to take advantage of being situated on the park’s “little lake.” An outdoor patio overlooks the water, and from that vantage point, the cafe appears to float on an island.
Counter service is efficient and friendly. Built-in checkerboards on several tables and an enclosed play area in the center of the dining room offer amusement for little ones and their caregivers.
The breakfast and lunch menus have regular and kids’ options and a good selection of healthy choices.
At breakfast, avocado toast in a hole ($9) combined egg and avocado with seeded whole-grain toast and a sprinkle of seasoning for a satisfying, if pricey, start. A generous bowl of grits topped with cheddar cheese and two strips of bacon ($5) is a more economical option. Other choices include breakfast burritos with a variety of fillings ($4 to $6), a yogurt bowl with fruit and granola and chicken and waffles. Kids’ choices ($3 to $5) include oatmeal, a fruit cup and a waffle.
During a kid-packed Saturday afternoon lunch visit, the scene was considerably less chaotic than one might expect; our meal arrived just 10 minutes after we ordered.
Though the kids’ menu has a burger ($7), my son ordered the thin-patty double burger ($10) from the regular menu. It was tasty, served on a potato roll with chips. My 11-year-old wanted macaroni and cheese ($5), even though it was on the kids’ menu and she is “NOT A KID!” The portion was small but would be an appropriate size for most children and was jazzed up with radiatore pasta instead of elbow macaroni.
An appealing selection of bowls ($9 to $13) included Cobb and kale Caesar salads as well as a mushroom, vegetable and tofu bowl and an avocado and grain bowl. Boiled shrimp, chicken or tofu can be added to any bowl for an additional charge.
Pizzas are available whole and by the slice, and sandwiches include a shrimp roll ($11), a fried chicken sandwich ($10) and a tuna melt ($8). For dessert, there are massive chocolate chip cookies and brownies.
The cafe serves a full menu of coffee and espresso drinks brewed with French Truck Coffee, as well as canned wine and local beers. The restaurant serves breakfast and lunch and is open until 5 p.m.
Acorn’s drawbacks are mainly logistical. Parking can be a challenge when the museum or park is busy. Inside the restaurant, there is one bathroom, a family restroom, which could pose problems during busy periods.
Acorn is an appetizing choice for family members of all ages. Those dining without children can enjoy Acorn as a quiet park oasis — just maybe not during lunch on a Saturday.