Inside the Box: Downtown Toledo Welcomes ‘Hotbox Bistro’

. August 1, 2018.

It’s the perfect time to take a stroll through downtown during lunch hour to fill hungry stomachs to discover Hotbox Bistro, a Cajun-style eatery owned by Toledoan Keitha Sheares, which opened in January on Erie Street near Adams.

Evolution of business

With 15 years in the food industry, a Master’s degree in restaurant management, and previous experience as a restaruant owner (Sheares opened the now-closed My Own Soul at age 25), she is confident in this location and concept.

“I did a lot of market research in the area and (reviewed) other restaurants’ menus. I created my menu based on what (downtown) was missing,” she explained. “We serve very culture-based ethnic food. I’m tailoring to people who want that.”

Hotbox was originally only a delivery food app—“I wanted to bridge technology and the restaurant,” Sheares said— and used the restaurant’s current location as a kitchen for catering, orders through the app and a brick and mortar location, transitioning from the food truck she had for a year.Hot-wings

Tastes of home

The menu focuses on variety, offering daily specials and a plenty of Southern and Soul Food favorites. Find classics like Gumbo, Cajun pastas, baked mac n cheese, steak tips with gravy and fried chicken wings—served in hot, lemon pepper and sweet and spicy sauces—as well as more typical lunch fare like salads and sandwiches. A favorite, the pineapple bowl—fried or steamed rice, sauteed veggies, sweet or spicy teriyaki sauce, served inside a pineapple and topped off with grilled pineapple slices—is both savory and sweet.pineapple-rice-bowl

Ingrediants are fresh and everything is cooked to order, served steaming hot after sizzling on the grill. Our boxed-up leftovers were still warm even after a short walk back to the office.

Right at your fingertips

Download the app, “HotBox Food Order App” to order your food for pickup or request business delivery. Delivery, with a $25 ticket minimum, serves commercial businesses all around Toledo.

Hotbox Bistro | 332 N Erie St
Monday-Friday 10am-4pm, in addition to Friday late night hours from 10pm-3am.
419-690-4990 |