Yes, I am talking about M*A*S*H again, but this time I am referring to the hit television series. You remember Klinger, right? You remember season 4, episode 24, right?
Of course you do!
This episode, entitled “The Interview,” has Klinger telling an interviewer that, if you’re ever in Toledo, OH, Tony Packo’s has got the greatest Hungarian hot dogs.
This was apparently an ad-lib from the Klinger actor Jamie Farr. The writers loved the name and wrote it into several subsequent episodes.
Guess what? He didn’t make it up; this place actually exists.
TONY PACKO’S- 1902 Front St., Toledo, OH.
Farr put the place on the map and it has been an institution ever since.
I am not really a hot dog fan, but the idea of not ordering a hot dog seemed wrong. With mac and cheese being an option as a side (and those closest to me know I have a very hard time passing up mac and cheese), I suddenly had a large meal before me.
Large for me, at least.
For the record, this is the first time in my life I have ever taken a picture of my food and posted it to the internet. Yes, you are looking at history in the making.
Armed with my tray, I sat myself in front of Bill Clinton’s autographed hot dog bun.
Yes, you read that right.
(The lighting in Tony Packo’s is not ideal for photography, so I apologize for the poor quality photos).
It seems that Burt Reynolds was in town many years ago and Tony’s daughter, Nancy, wrote him a letter asking him to come into the restaurant. Amazingly, he showed up. Nancy wanted his autograph, so Burt signed a hot dog bun. Since then, it is Tony Packo’s tradition to collect autographed hot dog buns from celebrities and notorious individuals.
They now use artificial buns as the actual hot dog buns do not last forever (much to the delight of our digestive systems). There are only 2 original real buns left, one of them signed by Jimmy Carter, and they are getting pretty illegible.
Below is featured, of course, the signatures of the cast of M*A*S*H.
Stop by, grab a hot dog, and annoy the other diners by wandering aimlessly and gawking at autographs.
Until next time, dahlings…