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Eating at the Classic Tony Packos in Toledo, Ohio

So, Tony Packos is a thing? Yeah, I didn’t know either, but it’s a Toledo specialty. The city of Toledo is home to a few of these restaurants, but the original one inspired a character in a TV show called MASH to obsess over it. Or, something like that?

The locals weren’t all clear on the story, but we were told we had to give it a try, so a group of my friends jumped in an Uber with me, and off we went.

This cafe/diner was dark and had a full-service bar. They’re famous for hot dogs, and other midwestern dishes.

One of the things I like to do while traveling is to ask the waiter what their favorite dish is, and order it exactly the way I like it. This has gotten in in trouble more than once, but when you can’t make a decision, it’s a fun way to try what the locals like.

I didn’t get so lucky at Tony Packos. Our waitress told me she really love the paprikash, which I’m still not sure exactly what it is, but they’re like dumplings in gravy. It was not the best thing I’ve ever had, and I couldn’t manage to finish it, but luckily I had a cold beer to wash it all down.

The cafe is really cool, it’s well lit, and they have great lunchtime options. Even though I had a lemon, I’d totally go back and try one of their hot dogs. Apparently, they have so much love for their hot dogs, that stars will sign the buns and leave them encased on the wall.

Since I wasn’t a huge fan of my entree, I filled my self up on an appetizer sampler of tried-and-true favorites. Onion rings, mozzarella sticks, the classics.

It was a fun experience, and though I’m still not exactly sure of the story behind it, the whole legend of Tony Packos that they try to present was pretty cool too.

Have you ever asked someone at a restaurant to bring you their favorite dish? How did it work out? Leave a comment below!

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