Hear the words garbage plates, the first thought that comes to mind is garbage. Make no mistake about it, the garbage plate is a real thing. One would think that the garbage plate consists of basically whatever is left over in the fridge.
The garbage plate evolved from the kitchen of Nick Tahou Hots restaurant in Rochester, New York.
According to Eater, college students in the ’80s would make late night visits to Nick’s, most likely inebriated and request “that plate with all the garbage on it”.
Needless to say, the “garbage plate” grew in popularity, receiving its official trademark name in 1992.
An authentic Nick Tahou’s garbage plate consists of macaroni salad, baked beans, or home or french fried potatoes with choice of two meats, chopped onions, spiced mustard doused with Nick’s hot sauce and 2 thick slices of buttered fresh Italian bread.
This calorie ridden (1700) comfort dish has since diversified to include a choice of meats and potatoes. Sounds like a carb lover’s fantasy!
A garbage plate at Nick’s ranges between from $4.50 – $6.50.
How to make a Homemade Garbage Plate
Here is a blueprint on how to make a garbage plate at home. The great thing about this dish is that all you have to do is open up your fridge and let your imagination run wild!
First begin by building the base. Cover your plate with a healthy serving of either french fries, home fries, macaroni salad, and/or baked beans. The most common combo is home fries/mac salad.
Next there’s the meat. Once you have the base laid out on your plate, then you add the meat of your choosing. Your choices are not limited to the standard chicken, beef, pork, or fish. You can really choose any type of meat as the piece de resistance of your particular garbage plate.
Nick’s has been known to offer garbage plates that feature hot dogs, hamburger patties, chicken tenders, mozzarella sticks, veggie burgers, grilled cheese, sausages, or a fish fry.
As you can see, the selection is very diverse and the ultimate choice is yours according to your personal preferences.
And lastly, there is an assortment of condiments including the traditional ketchup, mustard, and onions. All are, however, optional, except for the hot sauce.
The traditional garbage plate incorporates a flavorful, meaty hot sauce that you can make, if you’re inspired to do so.
It consists of beef, garlic, onions, tomato sauce, vinegar and a handful of spices including cayenne and chili powder.
Once the garbage plate is assembled, mix all of it together so that you get a little bit of everything in every sigle bite.
And don’t forget the side of fresh Italian bread and butter.
Visiting Rochester Any Time Soon?
Garbage plates are a known entity among food aficionados across America. Variations on the theme are as diverse chocolate cake recipes.
So, if you happen to be in the Rochester or the Finger Lakes region of New York area, don’t forget to add Nick’s to your dining list.
Although Nick’s is the original, this quirky gastronomic combo is served at both low and high end restaurants throughout the area.