Tony Packo’s has sold sausages with spicy chili sauce since 1932. Today, the restaurant has five locations, but you’ll have to visit the original to see Jimmy Carter’s actual signature scribbled across a piece of stale bread.
Hot dog buns signed by celebrities line the walls at Tony Packo’s in Toledo, Ohio. Most of these are custom-made, artificial recreations. But the original tradition involved signing an actual bun. The actor Burt Reynolds unintentionally got things started in the 1970s by putting his autograph on bread instead of a piece of paper. Since then, countless politicians, actors, and musicians put their John Hancock on the simple, perishable carbohydrate.
While almost every piece of processed bread manufactured in the 1970s has since disintegrated, two signatures from Tony’s original collection of branded buns remain framed. The first belongs to Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States. The second is emblazoned with the handwriting of Walter Mondale, the 42nd vice president of the United States. This particular intersection of Americana-meets-White House paraphernalia has, by no means, aged well. But, they’re both real, and still proudly mounted on the wall at Tony Packo’s.
Know Before You Go
There are three Tony Packo's locations in Toledo. To see the presidential bun, be sure to visit the original location on Front Street.