Adventures Abroad

Adventures Abroad
Machu Picchu

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Holy Toledo!

Hello, fellow adventurers!

Last weekend, I found myself on an 8 hour car trip to Toledo, Ohio. Yes, I drove it alone. And yes, it was long! 

I bet you are wondering why I drove 8 hours to a city you have probably never heard of. Well, for a few reasons: 1) to visit my sick Grandpa and 2) to pick up my sister and her two kids. However, this is not the reason for my blog post. Instead, I wanted to inform you of a great restaurant that may be worth the journey.
My Grandpa, Lil' John, Sadie, and I 

First, have you ever seen the t.v. show M.A.S.H.? If you answered yes, then you should be aware of Klinger. The cross dresser who wanted to get Toledo! 

Second, the restaurant that should be on your list is called Tony Packo's

So how does this relate to M.A.S.H.?
"The words that came out of Jamie Farr's mouth on Feb. 24, 1976 would put Tony Packo's in the spotlight. Farr, a native Toledoan himself, appeared in the television show "M*A*S*H," playing Corporal Max Klinger, a crazy medical corpsman who was also from Toledo. In the episode that made Packo's future, a man playing a television newsman talked to Klinger about his hometown. Farr wrote a little local color into his reply. The lines read, "If you're ever in Toledo, Ohio, on the Hungarian side of town, Tony Packo's got the greatest Hungarian hot dogs. Thirty-five cents..." Thus a new epoch began. The name appealed to the scriptwriters, who wrote Packo's into five subsequent episodes. In one show, the mobile hospital unit asked Packo's to send sausage casings to be used in a blood-filtering machine. Packo's was also mentioned in the two-and-a-half-hour final episode in 1983."


"The son of Hungarian immigrants, Tony Packo was a native East Toledoan. Tony was born in 1908, just a stone's throw from Consaul and Genesee streets.  Tony Packo started out as a factory worker. That all changed when, in 1932, he and his wife got a $100 loan from relatives. No small feat, mind you, for this was during the hardest of hard times, the first years of the Great Depression. That same year he opened a sandwich and ice cream shop just around the corner from the place he was born. Tony had learned the restaurant business working for his older brother John, who owned a place across Consaul Street in what is now Tony Packo's parking lot. There was no beer at Packo's that first year. Prohibition would not be lifted until 1933.
Because Tony was Hungarian-American and lived in a Hungarian neighborhood, Tony’s creation was called the Hungarian hot dog.  Until Toledo-born Tony invented it, there was no such thing as a Hungarian hot dog, say those who know the Old Country's food.
Packo's food was an instant hit in the neighborhood. Within months of opening, Tony and Rose knocked out a wall and expanded their first shop, in what is now called the Consaul Tavern. By 1935, success had taken them to the point where they could buy a building of their own. They purchased the wedge-shaped establishment at Front and Consaul. The building houses part of today's Tony Packo's, but with a few more additions. The restaurant is still run by the Packo family…Tony and Rose's children; Tony Jr. and Nancy."

My Story and Opinions:
Since I was little, I have been visiting Toledo to see my Hungarian and German relatives. Yes, for about 24 years I have been visiting the city.

One of my favorite things to do while I am in town is to visit Tony Packo's. After all, I am part Hungarian! 

The restaurant is absolutely delicious and the gift shop finds are amazing! In my opinion, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest), I would rate Tony Packo's at a 9. The restaurant gives off a fun family vibe. The walls are lined with celebrity signed hotdog buns. The food is absolutely delicious. Of course, the main dish is hotdogs topped with a secret sauce, onions, mustard, and cheese. Yes, one bite of this hotdog and you are in foodie heaven! Click to see more of the menu! Oh, and lastly, the gift store finds. I don't know about you, but I love, love, love pickles! One of the best things to get at the Tony Packo's gift store is different types of pickles, such as: Sweet Hots, Original (spicy), and even Garlic flavored pickles! I prefer the Originals and Garlic flavored pickles. You can order them online too!!! Price ranging from $10.95-12.95. Get out your credit card and order!

Take a trip to Toledo, Ohio and let me know what you think of Tony Packo's. 

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