November 29, 1995
Tony's - Was and Is
When I was young, long ago, and went to High School in Bay City, there
was a marvelous place far away in Saginaw. In the 50's Saginaw seemed an
eternity away from the South end of Bay City (I must tell you about this
Polish Restaurant there too). But I did have a friend over there, "Bull
Dog" Schneider, and he introduced me to the wonderful gut busting phenom
known as "Tony's."
For a very few bucks you could eat a breadbasket
full of fries, a huge glass of milk and a steak sandwich, and a true
table groaning banana split. I seem to remember there being a bet that
if you could eat all that (the sandwich had to be an "end-cut") your
meal was free.
Well, I grew older and moved away from there, and married
and very rarely ever got up that way.
But a few years back, as we were on our way to Birch Run to spend oodles
of money, I noticed that there was a Tony's across the street. Sure
enough, it was the same good old place--but moved out from Saginaw to
To get there go north on I75 (unless your North then go
south) to the Frankemuth/Birch Run exit and turn west. Just over the
freeway and across the street from all that outlet shopping is Tony's.
Be hungry when you get there. Be ready to stand in line when you get
there too. But the line moves fast and the wait is worth it.
This is basic food, breakfasts, sandwiches, burgers, and pasta. It is
always served fresh and hot and lots.
Ok, GG, how much is lots?
Ok, how about a BLT that weighs a pound after cooking?
What Mrs GG and I do is (at breakfast time there) I order one full
breakfast (eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast) and she orders just eggs.
Then I give her part of the taters and bacon and we still have left
The steak sandwich is messy and good. Its a chunk of beef (much like
cube steak) smothered in spaghetti sauce and served on a slab of Italian
bread. It's huge. It's good--but you know not as great as when I was
young. I asked about that and they confessed--alas years ago they gave
up making their own sauce, which to me seems a terrible, terrible
mistake, but then what do I know?
The food is still very good. The
desserts should be outlawed, they are so huge and so good.
Want to know why Michigan folks are the biggest in the country? Come
eat at Tony's. I understand that there are several of them in the
Saginaw area, but time allows only the eating at this one for now.
Atmosphere? What do you want? It's an oversized neighborhood Italian
spaghetti shop--you get checkered oilskin table clothes, smart mouthed
waitresses and a very unforced feeling of being in a time warp right
back to the mid 1950's.
Rating is eight oinks
Prices are absurdly low
Service is excellent
Staff is friendly
Food is very good (even at twice the price)
Yours till bellies burst
@ Charles Grifor 1996,1997