If you’re from Rochester, then you probably have dreams about the legendary Nick Tahou Hots Garbage Plate. It’s such a Rochester staple that many Rochester expats end up trying to recreate it when they move away and get a craving. It probably was the best meal you had as a kid, got you through many college study fests (after all, it was a student who first requested a plate “with all the garbage in it”), and likely comforted you after a rough day of work. Eating a garbage plate is indeed a rite of passage for locals.
In honor of that tradition, we have come up with a recipe that has our own joyful twist on it. Read on to learn more and how to create your own at home!
What Comes in a Rochester Garbage Plate?
We’re glad you asked! It’s virtually every comfort food you can imagine. You start off with a base of half macaroni salad and fried potatoes–home fries or shoestring fries are the standard potato choices. Then, you add a layer of baked beans. Next, you add your choice of protein. Most people go for red hots, but you can choose to use hamburger, bratwurst, sausages, fried chicken, or steak. Top it off with hot sauce (Nick’s hot sauce is a spicy meat sauce), onions, cheese, and mustard.
Is it healthy? Our sources say no. Is it delicious? YES.
The Joy Cone Twist
Putting a twist on the Rochester garbage plate is easy. Instead of layering the ingredients on a plate, you layer them in a cone. We tested the best method and found that a little flexibility in layering based on your ingredient choices is key.
Start off with your tallest ingredients. In our case, that was the bratwursts and fries. Next, add in the macaroni salad.
Top the salad off with baked beans and onions. Lastly, add your hot sauce, cheese, and mustard.
Once you have the cones built, you can lay them flat on a decorated serving tray or place in your cone holder of choice. Marble or slate serving boards and mason jars are perfect holders for garbage cones!