Dine in the 419: Seafood with a Cajun Twist, Hot Box Bistro!

Toledo native Keetha Shears brings her love for seafood to her Monroe hot spot! (literally)
Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 5:32 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - If you’re looking for a taste of seafood with a bit of a cajun kick, you’re going to want to head to Hot Box Bistro! In this week’s Dine in the 419, we meet up with Owner & Chef, Keetha Shears, who teaches us how to cook up her cajun soul food.

“People enjoy our food because it has a lot of flavor,” Shears shares.

After spending many years in Los Angeles and Florida, Keetha developed a keen taste in seafood, but not just any seafood - spicy hot flavors. The culinary chef took her love for the coastal cuisine and her family’s favorite recipes growing up to create the Monroe St. favorite, Hot Box Bistro.

“Keetha, some call it soul food, others call it cajun food, what would you call it?” I ask.

“I call it all my favorite foods,” Shears laughs.

Favorite menu items include spicy gumbo, lamb chops, blackened salmon, and more. “Everything is made in-house, everything is made fresh to order, our side dishes are made every day, sometimes multiple times a day because we run out,” Shears says.

This week, we made the breakfast bowl with Keetha - an early-bird favorite, known for its multi-layers of sweet potato, sausage and bacon, egg, and homemade cheese sauce. And where did the “hot name” come from? Well it all started when Keetha took on a third job as a chef. “I would come home and be like man I really could use some extra money, and people love my food, so I started putting it out on Facebook. And people would inbox me and ask me if I could start delivering it to them, and that’s what I would do. And when I got there I had them still hot and they would be happy like ‘oh! It’s still hot!’ So I called it a hot box.”

To visit Hot Box Bistro and try all of the exotic flavors, visit their new location on Monroe St. Monday-Friday 8 am-8 pm and Sundays, 11-4 pm. For more information, you can visit their Facebook page, or head down there in person at 1919 Monroe St.

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