Garbage plate is a dish offered in restaurants in Rochester, upper New York State, on Lake Ontario.
It was first made at Nick Tahou Hots restaurant in Rochester. Other restaurants now offer it under various names such as Dumpster Plate, Sloppy Plate, Trash Plate, even “Plat du Refuse.”
Contents of the dish will vary by establishment.
- The plate starts off with any two of the following: baked or refried beans OR hash-brown potatoes or home fries or French fries OR chilled macaroni salad;
- Then meat of choice, placed right on top of the first two choices: hamburger pattie (with or without cheese on top) OR hot dog wieners (usually two of each, beef or pork);
- Everything covered in a meat chili sauce;
- May be topped with chopped onion, mustard, relish, ketchup;
- Buttered Italian bread served on the side;
- Usually served with some kind of red hot sauce (Frank’s Hot Sauce at Nick Tahou’s.)
You can eat everything separately, or cut up the meat patties or wieners, and stir everything on the plate up.
A plate costs about $6.00 US (2007 prices.)
It is often eaten by young men as a rite of passage to see who can eat the most food. Particularly admired are those who order it for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning, and then go to their parents for Thanksgiving dinner.
It is very popular after a night out at the bars; you can also order it for breakfast.
Nicolaos A. Tahou (6 January 1920 – 10 January 1997) was an immigrant from Greece who arrived in Rochester in 1937. He started his business at the railroad depot there, running a hotdog cart.