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 multiple 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 cents..."
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 and Admiral. 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
Radio Attic website. Can you identify the model number and year
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