The Short Course
Kid-friendly: Yes! There is a large selection of toys, books, coloring books etc.
To avoid wait: Anytime, but dinner hours can be busier.
Noise level: Moderate to loud depending on how busy they are.
Bathroom amenities: No changing station.
High Chairs: Yes.
Got milk? Yes.
Kids’ menu? Yes, and kids 10 and under eat free on Tuesdays with purchase of an entrée.
Allergy info: Be sure to alert your server prior to ordering so they can be sure there is no cross contamination.
Trying out new restaurants never gets old for me and the kids. That being said, I will continue to conger up my own preconceived notions about a place, good or bad, and I will continue being spot on only fifty percent of the time. Recently, the boys and I stopped by a local restaurant that I had thought might be a local dive. This would prove to be one of those times I was very wrong.
A local hidden gem
The Local Thyme Restaurant and Bar (Local Thyme for short), has been a staple in downtown Whitehouse for years. Though it opened in 2007, Skip Walker bought it in 2013 and made it his own.
According to general manager Kristopher Bailey, “He (Skip) painted, stained, decorated, and remodeled the entire store mostly by himself. In my opinion he is an all American example of what a little hard work and heartfelt passion will get you when you set a goal and expect no other outcome than that of perfection.”
Not long ago Toledo City Paper readers voted Local Thyme a hidden gem. And to be honest, I’m not sure a lot of my friends are familiar with it; other than the ones that live out that direction and eat there regularly. So regularly, that when I asked them last minute to join us for dinner they said, “Unfortunately we already have plans, but we ate there last night! You’ll love it!” The word is out and I’m thinking it may soon lose the “hidden gem” status. That’s not a bad thing.
Friendly service and delicious eats
Along with a few food suggestions, my friend was also sure to tell me the people are nice and the service is great. We were looking forward to checking it out. It was a Sunday evening about 6pm when we arrived. The place was hopping and filled with families.There is a separate dining area away from the bar that is especially nice for families or anyone wanting a quieter evening. There is even a dedicated area for the kids to choose books, toys, coloring books, and more to keep them occupied. As Mr. Bailey put it, they really look to be a family restaurant, yet they want the parents to feel like they have a little bit of a break as well.
Tory was our fabulous and friendly server. She was very helpful as we struggled to select our entrees. The boys and I planned to try three things and share them all equally. Can you guess where this is going? A couple bites were shared and then they laid claim to their plates and that was the end of the sharing. One thing we did share was their GIANT soft pretzel served with a variety of dipping sauces and cheese. We had to set it aside during dinner, but ate the rest of it for dessert and dipped it in the cinnamon butter. Delicious!
Their chicken chunks, fresh and flavorful, are prepared a variety of ways. We also tried a fresh made burger and fries as well as their homemade mac ‘n cheese with pork belly on top. Mr. Bailey pointed out that they smoke their meats in house, as well as most everything else. They have a smoker outside and he told me the smoked corned beef Rueben is amazing.
Kids also eat free on Tuesdays. However, most meals are about $5.99 and include drink, applesauce, and fries. That’s a pretty good deal, even if it isn’t Tuesday.
Small town, big fun
Check out their calendar for live music and special events such as their 80’s party, or the summer family friendly beach party. Last year they unloaded five tons of sand in the parking lot. I think that’s a party I won’t want to miss this year. They are open late and open seven days a week so there is always some kind of fun (or friendly face) awaiting you.
You will be made to feel like one of the locals, whether you are or not, at Local Thyme. The great service and food will be reason enough to return. But the fact you don’t have to BYOT (bring your own toys) for the kids is a bonus. Parents may actually relax even with the little ones in tow. And kids eat free on Tuesday!