Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Aug 21, 2007 11:38 AM

Anyone ever eaten a garbage plate?

And what did you think?

I ate one once. I thought it was good, but kind of scared to make a regular habit out of it.

(For the unfamiliar, a garbage plate is one half french fries, one half macaroni salad, topped with two cheeseburgers, two hamburgers or two hot dogs, with fried onions, boss sauce, and usually served with a piece of bread. Best topped with ketchup and Frank's hot sauce. At least that is what I remember.)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have ordered a garbage plate, but didn't finish it (so I sadly did not get a free tee shirt). It was definitely an interesting and artery clogging experience.

    The garbage plate I had, which was called a Rochester garbage plate even though I was in Richmond, Virginia, included two hot dogs, chili and cheese, baked beans, home fries, cole slaw and potato salad. I ate it for breakfast.

    1. Just once. That's all I need. I was in Rochester a few years ago and had a fun night of drinking with my colleague who lives there. We made a late night visit to Nick Tahoe's (sp?) and soaked up the alcohol with all that food. Mine had cheeseburgers on it. The whole experience was a lot of fun - but again, once is enough.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pellegrino31

        Tahoes is the place to go, and once was enough for me as well.

        However, I did meet some people who ate there as often as once a week.


      2. I'm an urban, Banana Republic, gym-bound New Yorker. So when I was stationed in Rochester for work, the obese, garrulous, sweatpanted native I worked with challenged me to a garbage plate eating contest, knowing that he could prove his superiority to we sissies downstate.

        I had come across them in my research before going to Rochester and actually was kind of obsessed with what was essentially every gross food you can imagine on a styrofoam plate topped with a thick gravy made from more meat. It contained more fat and carbohydrates than I eat in 2 days. I had to have one. The native outweighed me by 50 lbs., he might have been a sasquatch, I'm still not sure, but I would not back down from this challenge. No other New Yorker or urbanite was willing to try a plate. We drove to Nick Taos and I got myself a cheeseburger garbage plate. When I opened the styrofoam treasure chest, my car was filled with the smell of Rochester dorm rooms. We took pictures before the destruction. I took a bite which I found mild at first. Then I remembered that to properly eat a garbage plate, you must swirl everything together to make a "goulash" of it, as they say. So I did as told and found that the improved taste allowed me to finish my garbage plate in 30 minutes flat. The flavor is vastly augmented by the addition of a cold beer on the side.

        It's an interesting dish, one that I would happily eat again if I was drunk, but not something I would want more than once every few months. I am told I would feel much warmer to it if I had covered it with mustard, ketchup, Frank's and worcestershire sauce before swirling, but I will have to test that theory next year after I finish working off this last experiment.

        1. OMG!!!!! I HEART gargabe plates!!!! I went to the U of R and went to Nick Tahou's all the time at the end of drunken nights at the frat quad or the bars in town!
          Back then I was a 120lb thing and I could eat a plate quicker than many guys. At first I could only eat them when drunk, but by my senior year I could have one as a snack at any time of the day or night! Ahhh how I miss them!

          2 Replies
          1. re: HungryRubia

            I saw the thread title and said, "Got to be a Rochester/U of R thread!!

            In my era on campus -- the 60s -- undergrads seemed to be split between the Nick's devotees and Smitty devotees. In fact, as a Smitty's devotee, I have no memories of eating a garbage plate, although I know others who did.

            I just loved Smitty's combination of barbecued chicken, incendiary hot sauce sopped up by Wonderbread, and macaroni salad. With the demise of Smitty's, Nick has become the de rigeur place to go for late night re-fueling. The garbage plate is so much a part of undergraduate experience, that I don't think I'm imagining when I say I've seen trips to Nick's as part of official Meliora Weekend celebrations, the University of Rochester's combination Renaissance/Homecoming/Reunion weekend.

            For those of you who attended the U of R and only know pleasures of Nick's garbage plate, here's a recipe which claims to re-create the glory that was Smitty's:

            1. re: HungryRubia

              I'm with you, HungryRubia! It's amazing how we all feasted back in the day. I remember back at SUNY Geneseo (We went to U of R parties all the time though, so we were like family to you guys!) we would party at the frat houses and then 6 of us would jump into my friend's beatup 87 Cavalier and head to the Nick Tahous on Lyell Ave. Always got a cheeseburger plate and loved every bite! It's amazing how much abuse our stomachs could take back then!

            2. Brings back memories for this Rochester native. The garbage plate is fine, but "boss sauce" belongs on Country Sweet chicken wings: nothing beats that sweet, sticky, chokingly vinegary sauce on the deep fried wings, dipped in blue cheese dressing, sitting atop a slice of white bread to soak up the chicken grease, sauce dribbles, and blue cheese drops.

              1 Reply
              1. re: david kaplan

                Yum, david! How I miss those! I'm gonna go to sleep with visions of Country Sweet wings prancing around in my head!!