Have you spoken to your inner child lately?
Toy Box Bistro is a full service restaurant that opened early this year on the southwest corner of Jordan and Holmes. It is situated in and around an extensive toy collection, responsibility for which the restaurateur assumed when her husband passed away. Meticulously and ubiquitously displayed, there is a lot to see, with a heavy Star Wars presence and a lot of Japanese toy culture. (There are also more Pez dispensers than I’ve ever seen in one place!)
What a cool thing to do with such, yes? This is a place for which you’ll want to budget some time to explore. We took a good look around, and I’m confident that on a return trip, we’ll find many things we missed.
Toy Box Bistro Menu
When you sit down to peruse the appetizers, you realize this place has an offbeat vibe, even beyond the displays. There are sliders, nachos, and wings, but there is also poutine. There are wontons, but with American fillings, like loaded baked potato stuff and buffalo chicken. We had fried “wickles,” with house ranch dressing. These were fresh, thick, crispy, and delicious.
Entrees are in the $10-15 range. In addition to classic comfort foods like meatloaf and pot roast, Toy Box Bistro has an eclectic selection of burgers and sandwiches. For lunch, I selected the Northside Hero—Chicago-style Italian beef on a baguette, with optional sweet pepper giardiniera relish and au jus. My companion had the Hades Burger, with fried jalapenos, pepper jack, and some of those same fried wickles. We demolished them, and the crispy fries were excellent as well.
(For my side item I didn’t think about the waffled macaroni and cheese, the praises of which have been sung to me by more than one person. Think homestyle mac & cheese, but made into a waffle in an iron. Next time!)
There are also a couple of humorous absurdities. The $20 Obligatory Ridiculous Burger has two burgers, pulled pork, cheese, bacon, a fried egg, an onion ring, lettuce, tomato, and special sauce, and the buns are grilled cheese sandwiches. The Pounder is a pound of hot dogs, with slaw, cheese, beans, onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers, with potato salad and waffled mac & cheese.
I would love to tell you I took one of these items down, but as much as I obviously like to eat, I’m not sure I could do such anymore. Maybe I’ll try one with a partner in crime sometime.
There is no permanent dessert menu. Rather, there are ongoing limited-time specials (frequently prepared in conjunction with Sugar Belle next door). On the day of our visit, the offering was a “beer-nana” nut muffin, served with whipped cream and caramel rum sauce. Every bit as decadent as it sounds, the muffin ended our lunch pleasantly indeed.
Just for Kids
The $6 children’s menu contains a grilled cheese sandwich, a hot dog, macaroni & cheese, and a chicken slider, each of which is served with either fries or carrots. There are tables up front with pits of Legos! Highchairs are available, restrooms are clean, and changing table is available.
As much fun as Toy Box Bistro is for a family outing, it pulls dual duty as a good grown-up hangout. Several local beers are available, and there are extended weekend hours. (Plus, there are a lot of things I want to get back and try on this delightful menu.)
When’s the last time you saw a truly new restaurant concept? Toy Box Bistro pulls it off. Odds are good you’ve never been anywhere quite like this. It’s a great place to eat, with a sense of humor, inside a small museum. When a place encourages you to “eat, drink, and be nerdy,” you can be confident you’ve found one of Huntsville’s newest treasures.
Toy Box Bistro Details
Address: 511 Jordan Lane NW, Huntsville (https://goo.gl/maps/MswW7ZrJVbK2)
Phone: (256) 513-8469
Toy Box Bistro on Facebook
Monday through Thursday, 10:30 am – 10 pm
Friday and Saturday, 10:30 am – midnight