you happen to be a fan of the M*A*S*H television series from the 1970s, then undoubtedly you are familiar with Corporal
Maxwell Q. Klinger's
mentions of his old neighborhood of Toledo, Ohio haunts - some manufactured and some real. His
Toledo Mud Hens
ball team, for instance,
is real. Uncle Abdul (Klinger is of Lebanese-American descent) and his original wife Laverne Esposito (from the
Hungarian side of Toledo) were obviously fictional; however, it was because of Laverne that Klinger was introduced
to Tony Packo's Cafe
- a real place. The Hungarian style
hot dogs from Tony Packo's were tops according to Max.
fact, his mention on the television show launched Tony Packo's to stardom and to being a highly prized tourist destination.
On Feb. 24, 1976, Jamie Farr (Klinger) put Tony Packo's on the map when during the show a touring TV newsman at
the 4077th M*A*S*H interviewed him for a special interest piece. Farr, a native Toledoan himself, ad libbed, "If
you're ever in Toledo, Ohio, on the Hungarian side of town, Tony Packo's got the greatest Hungarian hot dogs. Thirty-five
I can now tell you that Tony Packo's hot dogs cost a bit more than 35¢ today, but they are still really good.
On our way to Michigan last week, Melanie and I stopped by Tony Packo's to visit the establishment of legend. It
was less than a mile off of I-80, and very easy to access, being on the edge of town. The menu featured many Hungarian
items, but we stuck with the famous Original Hot Dog and a bowl of Kraut Cabbage. There are many cool artifacts
from the M*A*S*H television show including photographs and hot dog buns signed by M*A*S*H actors (and many other
celebrities), and also the package actually used in the TV show from when Klinger placed an order to be mailed to
Korea. See photos.
unexpected treasure I found was a vintage Silvertone console style radio. Silvertone was a brand name of Sears, Roebuck
& Co. Per a book by Mark V. Stein there were over 30 radio brands that supplied Silvertone radios for
Sears including King, Colonial, Stewart-Warner, Air King, Emerson, Kadette, Wilcox-Gay, Arvin, Case, RCA
An Internet image search did not turn up an exact duplicate of the model at Tony Packo's. The radio has been converted
into a podium or dais of sorts, probably once used at the door to greet customers. I found it tucked back in a corner near
the maintenance closet. The back has been covered with plywood so I wasn't able to snoop inside for a model number
or date. There are versions close to this one, but most have five knobs under the dial, and the dial is usually larger.
It doesn't even appear on the Radio
website. Can you identify the model number and year for me?
These hot dog buns have the signatures of Radar O'Rielly (Gary Burgoff), and Klinger (Jamie Farr), amongst
others like Barbara Bush (former 1st Lady), Michael Dukakis (presidential candidate), Willard Scott (weatherman),
Danny Glover (washed-up actor), Morton Dowey, Jr. (insane TV host), Leslie Uggams (actress / singer), Jerry
Lewis (comedian / actor), Sawyer Brown (country music group), Melissa Ethridge (rock singer), and Bob Knight
Here is Melanie inside the front section of Tony Packo's Cafe. You can see the menu in the background. To
the right is a photo of Jamie Farr holding a copy of the Toledo Blade newspaper in front of Tony Packo's Cafe.
Here are some photos from the M*A*S*H television show where the crew is eating Tony Packo's hot dogs.Posted October 22, 2013