When we travel, I’m always on the lookout for a cool fountain, and this one in Toledo of rain falling from clouds did not disappoint!
“Incidentally, if you’re ever in Toledo, Ohio, on the Hungarian side of town, Tony Packo’s, greatest Hungarian hot dogs with chili peppers, 35 cents.” Jamie Farr as Klinger on M*A*S*H
One of the major highlights of going on our trip to Toledo was finally getting to eat at Tony Packo’s!
We went to the original location in the Hungarian neighborhood, and I’m not going to lie…walking in the door felt like going home. It had that great pub feel, but with a Hungarian twist!
OK, a neighborhood pub with a Hungarian twist and lots of M*A*S*H memorabilia!
I wasn’t going to leave there without trying the speciality of the house, the Hungarian hot dog, with mustard, onions, and hot dog sauce:
We tried some other things, too…fried pickles, pierogis, cabbage rolls, chili, and the German potato salad recommended by our waitress. It was all delicious, and again, felt like coming home. It’s not often I get to go to a place that serves the food of my people!
We also grabbed a piece of cherry strudel to go:
My understanding is that thanks to M*A*S*H, the restaurant is quite the tourist trap (they even have a gift shop in the restaurant, and yes, we did pick up a few things, including a jar of paprika to use at home), but I didn’t know it “back in the day,” so that doesn’t matter to me…the food was good, I loved the atmosphere, and the Jamie Farr/Klinger/M*A*S*H connection made me happy!
If I ever have the opportunity to go back to Toledo, I’m definitely going to stop at Packo’s again, and next time, I might try the chicken paprikas served over Hungarian dumplings (which around here we call spaetzle!).
“I’d give anything to be back in Toledo. Sitting in Packo’s with the guys, having a beer and eating a dog while the chili sauce drips down your arm.” Jamie Farr as Klinger on M*A*S*H
Today is Jamie Farr’s 89th birthday! Inspired by the character he played on M*A*S*H, everyone’s favorite “company cluck,” from Toledo, OH, here’s a look back at the highlights of the “Klinger Tour of Toledo,” a trip we planned in Jamie Farr’s and Klinger’s honor, that we took last month.
We stopped by Jamie Farr Park, located not too far from Michigan and Galena, which is where Klinger said he is from. The quote on the plaque is absolutely lovely, and of course it made me cry!
Our trip to Toledo would not have been complete without a meal at Tony Packo’s, and it was just as delicious as Klinger promised it would be. The M*A*S*H memorabilia everywhere was so much fun to look at, and we loved taking a picture with Klinger and Hawkeye. What was really special, though, was seeing how much Toledo loves Jamie Farr!
The other must-do for our trip to Toledo was a Mudhens game, which was one of the most perfect ball games I’ve ever attended, ending with a walk-off home run followed by a fireworks show. We saw Klinger on the retired numbers wall of the ballpark (I personally think they missed an opportunity to retire number eight in his honor, since he spent so much of M*A*S*H trying to secure a Section 8 for himself!), and also saw Jamie Farr’s name at “Farr Out Funnels.” We had hoped to try a funnel cake there, but unsurprisingly, the line was really long, and we never had the chance.
This was a Big Deal for the boys and me (we’ve been talking about going to Toledo and eating at Tony Packo’s and seeing a Mudhens game since before the pandemic, I think), and I’m so glad we finally got to have this experience together!
As we left Toledo, we all had one thought…”And you made it out alive?” In all seriousness, it was a fantastic trip, and I can see why Klinger (and Jamie Farr) loves it so much!
Our trip was inspired by Jamie Farr’s/Maxwell Q. Klinger’s love of Toledo, but you can’t take a trip in his honor without also recognizing his mentor, Danny Thomas, so we stopped by Danny Thomas Park in the morning. As Jamie Farr said when his park was dedicated (keep reading to see that) “The great Danny Thomas has a park named after him on the south side of Toledo and I have a park named after me on the north side of Toledo. This is the only city in the United States guarded by two noses!”
After visiting the park, we drove a bit outside Toledo to The Historic Canal Experience, which gave us the opportunity to ride a canal boat down a section of the Miami & Erie Canal, go through a lock, and tour an old mill. It was a really cool experience…stay tuned for full details!
One of the main destinations of our Klinger road trip was dinner at Tony Packo’s. I absolutely loved the place…it felt like a neighborhood pub, but Hungarian, which makes sense since it’s in Toledo’s Hungarian neighborhood (see St. Stephen of Hungary Parish just down the street!). I felt like I had come home!
We also stopped at Jamie Farr Park, which is not too far from the intersection Klinger says he’s from in “The Grim Reaper”…Michigan and Galena. I really love the quote on the plaque!
And then on to the Toledo Mudhens game! I really liked their ballpark, and it was so much fun sitting so close to the field!
We didn’t see Muddy, but we did get to have a picture taken with Muddonna!
Ryan also found Cat Trick, one of the Toledo Walleye’s mascots:
It was a great game…the Mudhens were in the lead for most of it, but the Buffalo Bison tied it in the ninth, setting the stage for a walk-off home run by Joe Rizzo.
It was a fireworks night, so while they set that up, the crowd was entertained with music, dancing, and a giant beach ball!
The fireworks were amazing!
I kind of didn’t want to leave when they were done, but we had a day of driving ahead of us, so I bid Toledo a reluctant farewell.
Here are some pictures from our trip to Ohio last weekend…at the Cincinnati Zoo, the Historic Canal Experience, Tony Packo’s, and a Toledo Mudhens game. Chickadee had a really fun time!