Our hometown, Rochester, is famous for one of it’s culinary treats, The Garbage Plate. There’s a local restaurant called Nick Tahou Hots where the idea behind this dish originated from, but you can find some kind of variation of this dish at a number of restaurants around our area.
So what exactly is a Garbage Plate? You’re basically taking your entire picnic menu, dumping it on your plate, smothering it in a meat sauce and digging in! Garbage plates consist of macaroni salad and/or baked beans with either home fries or french fries. On top, a choice of two: cheeseburger, hamburger, red hots, white hots, Italian sausage, chicken tender, haddock, fried ham, grilled cheese, or eggs. It’s topped off with onions, mustard and Nick’s signature hot sauce — which is sort of like a ground meat chili.
Even though I’ve lived in this area since I was 5, I (Manda) have never tried a Garbage Plate or any variation of it! We’ve been guest posting on With the Locals Instagram account this week, showcasing some of our favorite spots around Rochester, and Tahou’s came up in our discussions about well-known Rochester places and Caitlin thought it was about time that I tried this delicacy our hometown is famous for! Caitlin’s also never tried the original Garbage Plate from Tahou’s, just had the dish from other local restaurants, so we thought a trip to try out the original was a must-do!
Going to Tahou’s is quite the adventure; it’s a typical greasy spoon dive that might be in need of an update or two. But then, it wouldn’t be Nick’s, would it?! We stuck with the most common/recommended plate for first-timers, which consisted of mac salad, home fries, two cheeseburgers, topped with mustard and Nick’s hot sauce. (We’re not big fans of onions, so we left that off). We all agreed a good dose of ketchup over the entire plate was the way to go! I was actually a little leery of this dish (and I’ll be honest, the place!), but it was actually pretty good! And yes, it has been named the fattiest food in New York!
If you’re ever in the Rochester area, you definitely must try a Garbage Plate, at least just to say you’ve tried it! And for those that don’t live close enough, we’ll be sharing a recipe next week to make your own variation of our hometown’s famous dish! (Just in time for those Memorial Day Weekend picnics!)
If you’d like to see some favorite spots of ours in Rochester, hop on over to With the Locals IG account this week!
Thanks to Tori for tagging along and being our photographer on our adventures!
-Manda & Caitlin