Local Toledo hot dog legend Tony Packo’s has been around for 70-80 years, and is the birthplace of the “Hungarian Style Hot Dog.” Now with five locations, the business received a lot of publicity as the home town favorite of the TV character “Max Klinger” on the long-run sitcom “MASH.”
Toledo is about halfway between two distinct “coney island hot dog” territories. And all three are distinctly different in flavor and texture. To the north, you find the Detroit style like American Coney, heavy on meat and a beefy taste – in Ohio you have the dueling chains of Skyline and GoldStar, and both of their coney sauces have a ‘sweet’ element in them. Some fans say chocolate, some say cinnamon. They are both good, and you can purchase complete Detroit kits or Skyline ingredients online. And you should. Often.
So Packo’s sells their sauce in little 8 ounce cans (pictured), less than a buck and a half, if I recall, and the promotional material says it is enough for five hot dogs. I think that’s conservative, you could probably schmear the sauce on 8-10 I’ll betcha.
Ingredients include: beef, water, chili spice, textured vegetable protein, sugar, salt, corn starch, and garlic. The distinctive characteristics of Packo’s are 1) the presence of the chili pepper is very evident, as is the sugar. The sauce is sweeter and hotter than the Detroit or Ohio styles.
There is a layer of flavor deep in there that reminds me of say, Hormel Chili. Which isn’t a turn off, just ‘different’ for a coney type sauce. In my experience. Your mileage may vary. Below are pix of the sauce in the can, out of the can, and after heating. Shop online if you can’t find at your grocery. In addition to hot dog sauce, Packo’s sells pickles, noodles, peppers, chili, barbecue sauce, relish and ketchup. And yes, I’d buy this again. Might even stock up.
Tony Packo Hot Dog Sauce Review