How to make, eat the Garbage Plate

Rochester, New York’s tasty claim to fame, The Garbage Plate, recently celebrated its 60th birthday at the concoction’s original location, Nick Tahou Hots.

If you have not heard of the messy delicacy, this iconic meal was born when a student came into the shop and ordered a plate with “all the garbage” on it, and that is exactly what he got, according to What’s Cooking America.

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The Garbage Plate consists of two unique layers. Customers must first decide the base – macaroni salad, home fries, beans or any combination of the three.

The hungry customer then chooses a coating of hamburger, cheeseburger, grilled cheese, sausage or hot dog as a second layer.

The one ingredient that any authentic plate will never be without is the signature chili-like hot sauce. The plate can be doused in ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise, but should always be stirred in with the other fixings. A buttered roll is served on the side and is traditionally used to soak up any leftover sauces.

First-time plate taster and Florida native, Meghan Graham, ordered the popular cheeseburger plate and declared it “a greasy, out-of-body experience” before shoveling another spoonful into her mouth.

Rochester native, Jennifer Hickey says her “night out is not complete without a large late-night garbage plate.”

Lucky for patrons like Jennifer, diners around the city serve this dish throughout all hours of the night, and no two plates are the same.

John Mitzewich writes that each restaurant uses its own “particular blend of ingredients” in American Food.

The idolized original creator of this legendary dish, Nick Tahou, died in 1997.

Savory Experiments food blogger states that Tahou has not been forgotten and that annually on his Jan. 6 birthday, students visit his grave and eat garbage plates to pay their respects.

As a Rochester native and student in one of the most flavorful college towns here in Charleston, I can’t help but wonder why we haven’t adopted our own delectable interpretation of this famous cuisine.

This was a dish intended for college kids, so why don’t we pay homage to its ingenious inventor and spread the gooey goodness throughout the Holy City?

It is what Mr. Tahou would have wanted after all.

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