Originating at Nick Tahoes, Garbage plates have become Rochester’s iconic meal. Now most restaurants, from hots places to fine dining, have some variation of the dish. Trash Plates, Sloppy Plates, Big Plates, whatever the name, they contain the same ingredients. Each contains meat, potatoes, mac salad, beans, and most importantly, meat sauce.
Garbage plates have become so popular that an entire sub-genre has spawned. You can now devour plates in egg roll, pizza, and empanada form. If you can stuff a garbage plate into it, chances are its happened. This is a quick guide to some of the more creative offshoots that Nick Tahoe’s signature dish inspired.
The Original – Nick Tahoe’s
This is the first plate, the one that set the standard for what defines a garbage plate. Located at 320 West Main, Nick Tahoe’s is ground zero for Rochester’s most iconic meal. Where ever your favorite garbage plate is from, you have to give a respect to the O.G. Plate.
Garbage Empanada: Empanada Shop
These combined my two favorite drunk foods: empanadas and garbage plates. This garbage plate variety is perfect for quick on the go takeout. Who could resist deep fried pastries filled with Zweigle’s, meat sauce, and potatoes? Get these for about $3 a pop at the Empanada Shop located at 642 Monroe Ave.
Trash Plate Meat Balls: Skylark Lounge
Skylark Lounge serves up some of the best meatballs in town. Their trash plate is no different. Start with two Beer and Ketchup Balls, two mash potato balls, and mac salad. Then top everything with meat hot, mustard, and grilled onions. Everything is better in ball form right?
Sticky Icky Plate: Sticky Lips BBQ
Southern Barbecue lends itself to gluttony to begin with. Combine that with a garbage plate, and you have created a monster. That is the only word to use for this plate: Monstrous. Potato, mac salad, and beans, slathered with brisket or pulled pork. Top the creation off with cilantro, onions, and meat hot. I added hickory BBQ sauce, just to engorge myself a bit more.
Garbage Plate Eggrolls: Dragonfly Tavern
More proof that if you can stuff meat into it, chances are there is a garbage plate version. Dragon Fly took a unique idea and turned it into an amazing meal. These eggrolls not only make a plate easier to eat, the pastry adds a different taste to the plate.
Mack Plate – Dogtown Hots
The Dogtown garbage plate is not only delicious, its diverse. I love the options they give you. For this particular article, I chose a split plate with loaded fries and vegetarian baked beans, and of course covered with meat hot sauce, mustard, and onions. A bit modest, but oh so good. If you have a few extra bucks you can go for what I call the Mack Plate. That’s a plate with double loaded fries, two cheeseburgers, a beef hot dog, Pitbull toppings, meat hot sauce and onions. I’m no food critic, so the only way I could describe this plate is extremely tasty with enough options to lead your taste buds to nirvana.
Garbage Plate Pizza – Caraglio’s Pizza
This is a pizza of Epic Meal Time proportions. Loaded with all the fixings of a hot dog and burger plate. This pizza is a mound of starch, grease, and meat from heaven. We ordered the sheet pizza version, as true Rochesterians should. It took five people to tackle, making it the only plate you HAVE to share.
Mex Plate – John’s Tex Mex
A new twist on the garbage plate, this dish does not include typical plate ingredients. A delicious mound of meat, Mexican mush, jalapenos, tomatoes, onions, sour cream, and salsa. This Plate is a tower of food piled high on tortilla chips. The serving is so large, I often eat these in two sittings. Which for $7 is a steal.
Plate Wrap – Hungry’s Grill
The night is over. You are drunk enough to want a garbage plate, but too drunk to use utensils. You just want a fast way to get a plate in your mouth with as little fuss as possible. Look no farther than Hunrgy’s Plate wrap. Everything you love about a plate, wrapped in a tortilla ready for your mouth hole.