The day after my birthday, we left for Toledo, Ohio where I had been invited to the Toledo- Lucas County Public Library where I would discuss my cookbook and the road that has led me here today, and have a booksigning. Of course the first thing we did when we got to Toledo was ask what food made Toledo famous. The answer was unanimous: Tony Packo’s Cafe, established 1939. Apparently, MASH actor, Jamie Farr, who was from Toledo, actually mention’s Tony Packo’s on the show, making the little cafe that features Hungarian comfort food, sausages, meat, meat, and more meat, instantly famous. Okay, so we can’t leave Toledo without going to Tony Packo’s…what else have you got?
It was the definate opinion of our driver from the airport, that we should go to his favorite haunt Fat Freddy’s Sticky-Q. Now usually, that doesn’t exactly sound like the kind of place where Migui and I would go by ourselves, so we say, “okaaaaaay, what is it exactly that we can’t miss at Fat Freddy’s?”, whereby our chaffeur begins to wax poetic about the barbeque there, and how it prides itself on being Great Lakes BBQ, a genre all on its own, which uses a mixture of charcoal, and wood, thereby cutting the total cooking time to 3-31/2 hours. But the best part, says our gastronomic driver, is this apparatus that they called a Beer Bazooka!! “What’s that?”, asked Migui and I in unison. “I can’t really describe it”, says he, “you’ll have to go and see it for yourselves”. Never have I taken a challenge so seriously. Migui and I were there for dinner that evening.
The first thing we did when we were seated was to order the bazooka. Well….let me tell you, Migui’s eyes actually widened when we saw the monster before us. It is a long column filled with beer, and the column has it own spigot, so that you can refill your own glass. Then, the waitress drops a plastic frozen “bullet” to keep the beer deliciously cold. Behold!
Needless to say, there was no way that we were going to be able to finish all that beer between the two of us (I think it holds 96 ounces!), but I can honestly tell you that Migui gave it the old college try! We decided to try and be as good as we could possibly be, in a place like this, so we ordered the chicken wings with medium hot sauce for Migs, and “call the fire department sauce” for me. The chicken wings were the hottest, crispiest, juiciest wings I have ever tasted! I am here to tell you that I could have easily made a meal of those wings and that beer, but I’m here to blog, so I had to take one for the team!
After loosening our belts a bit, we decided to share a sampler platter called the Triple Play Pork, which includes 1/4 rack of baby back ribs, a pork chop, and pulled pork (my fave!) along with two sides and Texas toast. I ordered some cole slaw on the side. Dude! I was sure I had died and gone to heaven!
The baked beans were tasty, and smokey-sweet, the beans and rice were meh, but who are you talking to about rice? The coleslaw, however was tangy and creamy, and met with my seal of approval. The ribs were tender, falling off the bone good, and Fat Freddy lived up to his Sticky-Q promise.
My mouth was watering for that pulled pork, because ever since I went to Chapel Hill, I’ve become a pulled pork snob, and I was anxious to see if it met with my standards. It did so, unequivocally!! Vinegary, smokey, mustardy, and juicy (my mouth just watered!) it made the trip to Fat Freddy’s worth the cabfare!
Dessert, you say? Noooooo, thank you very much! Everything was delicious, but you know me and my lack of a sweet tooth. I think I’ll wait another 36 hours before I have anything else to eat, thank you very much.
As for Migui and I…let’s just say that these two New York transplants had a great time their first night in Toledo!
Fat Freddy’s Sticky-Q
I’ll be back to give you the low-down on Tony Packo’s later!