This week, we were in Toledo, OH for a fantastic job interview opportunity (which went great by the way)… Now that the interviewing is all wrapped up, we wanted to spend some time exploring the area, learning all about what Toledo and the surrounding areas had to offer, and see some sights with Jeff, our tour guide and real-estate agent (super knowledgable)!

Jeff, and a few others, suggested we try Tony Packo’s for lunch today. It is Toledo’s home for hot dogs, pickles, chili and a few other Hungarian wonders est. in 1932. I know what you are thinking, “who stops for a hot dog?”, especially being gluten free… Well, we did our homework and found out they carry gluten free buns, which are soft and actually fit in your mouth, and have several other items that are gluten free. So, why not give this historic and star-studded famous place as try?… It did not disappoint!

There are a few locations around the area and we visited the Westgate spot. We were greeted by Skylaar Constant, the former defensive end from Toledo University Rockets! He was warm and welcoming with a polite and pleasant manner. Skylaar set the tone for a positive experience right away. Of course, we had some hesitation about eating given our giant fear of being glutened. Not to fear, Skylaar had our back. He immediately went through the menu, made some recommendations and handed us several samples to try.

Skylaar Constant

The first sample was the chili with beans. I am picky about my chili and found this to be flavorful and exciting. Next up was stewed cabbage with lots of paprika (delicious). Last sample (or so we thought) was a chicken chili that was a complete 180 from the original beef chili. The chicken chilly was also tasty and something I would not hesitate to order!.

After several samples and great conversation with Skylaar, we finally ordered hot dogs on gluten free buns, mustard, onions, and chili. What a great hot dog with a soft gluten free bun and a really tasty snappy dog. I was impressed! This meal brought back several memories of going to Stewarts Hot Dogs in Huntington, WV when I was a kid and getting hot dogs topped with sauce with my pops and dad. Its really amazing when food can bring back such an iconic and nostalgia moment and, at the same time, establish a new memory from another outstanding place.

chili dog, gluten free bun, sweet hot pickles and cabbage

The last thing I want to mention about this place are the pickles. We all know how much Leah loves a pickle. So we were not getting out of there without trying the pickles. The plate of food comes with a couple of pickles to sample, but once Skylaar found out we loved pickles he came out with two different bowls of the original and sweet hots to try. Really… good… pickles!!! I preferred the sweet hots, Leah the original. Even better Skylaar wanted to make sure went went home with a couple of jars to share with friends back in Colorado. So we ended up with garlic and sweet hot. We tried for pay for them but Skylaar was not going to allow that.

Fantastic pickles!

We were treated great at this place. Our food issues were cared about and the service was top notch. This was not just a quick place to stop in for lunch, it was an experience that builds a special memory.

It will be one of the the most uplifting experiences we had here in Toledo. Thank you, Skylaar and thank you, Tony Packo’s!

Holy Toledo! There is certainly a lot to offer here! Water abound, historic towns, great scenery, growing food scene, WONDERFUL people, museums and interesting facts and history! We could easily see ourselves living and thriving here! What a hidden gem of an area.

See you again soon, Toledo!