Garbage Plates: Rochester’s Best-Kept Secret || Food/Groups

– If you’re talking
to somebody and they say, where are you from, and you
say Rochester, New York, it’s like, oh, did you
ever hear of this thing called a garbage plate? We’ve had movie stars, lawyers, doctors, politicians, didn’t have
the queen of England yet, but we’re still hoping. – Rochester, New York, the city so nice they named it once. People forget that this one time boom town on the south shore of
Lake Ontario is actually the third biggest city in
the entire Empire State. And, while New York City
has the international cache, and Buffalo has the decades and decades of die-hard sports traditions,
Rochester has something arguably even better: the garbage plate. The goriest 3,000 calorie gut-buster of greasy lunch counter staples from macaroni salad to cheeseburgers. It’s a gluttonous point
of pride for Rochester residents old and new,
and it’s a meal that draws this rust belt city together across lines of class, race and generation. Garbage plate is part
heritage, part hangover cure and all Rochester, so
you know we had to come up here to get trashed. That sounds stupid, man. In 1918, an unassuming lunch
counter opened downtown. The joint would go on to
be named Nick Tahou Hots. Still operating today
under the watchful eye of third generation owner Alex Tahou. And, the dish, it would
go on to become the one, the only, the trademarked garbage plate. – If you want to say
you had a garbage plate, you have to eat it here. If you didn’t eat it here, you have not had a garbage plate. – So, obviously, we ate it there. And, to get the full
helping of Rochester’s historic garbage plate love affair, we ate with Chris Clemens,
the born and raised Rochesterian behind – This is a really historic
section of the city, and one of the reasons it’s historic with the garbage plate,
the story goes that, decades ago, a bunch of college kids were in here and said, “hey,
give me one of them plates with all the garbage on it.” And, so they created this towering plate, and the name, garbage
plate, kind of stuck. The classic plate is half mac salad, half home fry, two cheeseburgers, and then you’ve got a
meat-based hot sauce, chopped onion, and mustard. – Yeah, the meat sauce is really good. There’s like cinnamon in
it, like a sweetness to it. In your lifetime, how many garbage plates do you think you’ve eaten? – Oh my god, I don’t… – We talking hundreds? – Yeah, probably hundreds. At this point, it’s totally a symbol for Rochesterian culture. There’s probably been some discussion that people are saying, hey, we really want to be famous for something called garbage, and the rest of us are kind
of saying, yeah, absolutely. – The answer is yes. – We totally do. – [Dave] This is the
original, but now, all across the city, like there are
imitators all across town. – [Clemens] It doesn’t
matter if you go to a diner or a cafe or whatever,
someone’s got some sort of version or something that is an homage to the original. But, this is, without
a doubt, unequivocally, the original, iconic plate. As a dish, the plate is part of who we are as a people. Way back in the day,
this was land that no one really wanted. We kind of have this survivor mentality, and I think that the
plate has become a symbol of being prideful of what we’ve built. Sort of like the plate
itself, Rochester is made up of all of these small little parts that end up working really well together. – [Dave] Tahou’s may be the original, but, across Rochester’s culinary scene, there are dozens of delicious homages, including plenty that
reflect the city’s vibrant immigrant populations. So, we met up with Linh Phillips, blogger, Vietnamese American and
lifelong Rochesterian at Stringray Fusion,
the Dominican-Japanese food truck, who makes one
of her favorite plates in the city. I feel like one of the things about like the garbage plate itself is that, like, really anything can go into it. – [Phillips] What I like
about Stingray is that they blend the fusion of Latin
food and Japanese food. – [Dave] So, these are the trasher plates, obviously totally different
than what you would get as like a classic garbage
plate, but there are sort of representative elements in here. – You’ve got your bed
of rice on the bottom, and layered on on top
of that, the proteins you have is the
beer-battered panko shrimp, you’ve got grilled beef, you’ve got little bits of bacon in there,
’cause you’ve got to put the bacon in, you also have it layered with tomatoes, you’ve got
cucumbers, sweet peppers, there’s drizzles of sriracha, ginger mayo, and black sesame seeds. – [Dave] Man, look at
that, there’s so much color in this, this is beautiful. – [Phillips] I’ve lived
in Rochester all my life. My parents were born in Saigon in Vietnam. They flied out a fishing boat from Vietnam to Malaysia after the war, and they stayed in a refuge camp for eight months, and they got the good
news that two families in Rochester, New York,
would sponsor them, and they flew here to Rochester, and they started their lives all over again. Some people are picky about not having their food touch each other, but then the garbage plate is probably not for you. Or, the trasher plate, actually, in fact, it’s 100 years since the
garbage plate was invented. Local baseball team,
the Redwings, are doing a plates night, and you can get different variations of the garbage
plate, you can even rock a plates jersey. If you really want to embrace Rochester, I would say that’s the place to go. – Plates night.
– Plates night. – [Dave] So, full of
trash, but still hungry for more garbage, we left Linh and headed to the stadium, where the AAA Redwings were warming up for
their big night repping Rochester’s favorite food. – Sup, guys, Tim Melville,
I’m starting pitcher for the Rochester
Redwings, and tonight we’re the Rochester Plates. You know, the talk of the
town, everywhere I go, everybody’s talking about plates night. I heard on the radio this morning, that’s all they’re talking about, so
it’s a pretty big deal here. As a team, this is
something different that we’re come out here in different uniforms, have our name changed, so everybody’s looking forward to it,
and, you know, everybody has tried the garbage
plate, so we know what it’s all about. – [Dave] Tell me about
your first experience with garbage plate, it was recent, right? – [Melville] So, I prepared,
I didn’t have breakfast, I went with a hotlink and a hamburger, and little bit of
mustard on top, and I got kind of the original
toppings with the potatoes and the mac salad, so it
turned out great, man, I loved it. You got those extra fans
here demanding a little bit more action from the
baseball players here, and I think we come out
tonight with the win, that would be good for the Plates’ record, official record of the team
of the Rochester Plates. – It’s only Rochester. – It’s so Rochester. – Just get two cheeseburger plates, max out home fry, onion, mustard. – Double cheeseburger
plate with the mac salad, home fries, and then the meat hot sauce and all the fixing. – Home fries, mac salad,
two cheeseburgers, onions, ketchup, hot sauce. – Two red hots, home fries, french fries, onions, peppers, hot sauce,
ketchup, franks, no mustard. – Take me out to the (pause) ball game! (crowd cheering) – During the month before I got married, every week I would sort of make a solitary journey and get a double cheeseburger garbage plate and eat it alone in my room. – [Dave] You’re about to get married, this is a joyous time in your life. – And, so is the garbage plate, so… – [Dave] Did you fit
into your wedding tuxedo? – I did, I bought it three sizes too big. – You’re a smart man. – So, I could fit into it post-plate. – Many out-of-towners say
it’s absolutely disgusting, a heart attack on a plate, I think we all still love it. – [Dave] How many do
you think you’ve eaten over the course of your life? – Too many that I may die too young. – [Dave] I hope not. – When you have a city that is our size that can latch onto a dish
that is classically theirs, and it’s not Syracuse,
this is not Buffalo, Buffalo has their wings,
Syracuse has their salt potatoes, their spiedies, whatever, we’ve got this and we’re holding onto it. – [Dave] So, Rochester’s
got the garbage plate. And, for the third
generation restaurateurs, the first generation food truck owners and the capacity crowd
at the local ballpark, the garbage plate is more than enough. Yo, did you enjoy this
episode of Food Groups up in Rochester, we hope you did. If you did, please
subscribe to our YouTube channel right there, watch
this video right here, and, of course, like and comment below, let’s go, plates, we’ll see you next week.

100 comments on “Garbage Plates: Rochester’s Best-Kept Secret || Food/Groups”

  1. Melanie Camalirie says:

    Lived in Rochester my whole life and I’ve had one twice

  2. Mike Canan says:

    The Garbage Plate was terrific at the OLD NICK'S on Main Street but even better was the free entertainment at 2AM, 3AM or 4AM in the morning on a Friday or Saturday night. WOW! WOW! WOW!

  3. taedyamondtv says:

    When u move out of the Roc u miss garbage plates soo much….. I MISS THEM SOO MUCH

  4. Jenni Rayflo says:

    Bitch, everybody knows about the fucking garbage plate cos they can't stop fucking talking about it. Fuck off.

  5. XxShipsxXxObsessionxX XxXx says:

    just saw my ex he was the one in the red wings outfit serving garbage plate at the red wings stadium

  6. Niouseline says:

    The garbage plate was really garbage at Nicks. It stinked and was rotten when we got it. I was really excited to try it but ended up with a tummy ache the whole trip. Something was spoiled. I love a food pile up but that shit was a waste. I will try another place when I go back.

  7. Danielakasmart says:

    Check out Jamaican Soul on 211 Genesee. Great food

  8. hi says:

    love it born and raised in this city and still here great show

  9. Bailey Grant Dolan says:

    ITS SO FRUSTRATING KNOWING THAT NOT EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT A GARBAGE PLATE IS AND NICK TAHOS. its the best thing I’ve ever had. I live in Rochester and this is the best food you’ll ever have in your life

  10. Rafael Martinez says:

    Don’s Original makes an amazing one. The Barnyard plate at that Blue’s spot on Monroe Ave is great too.

  11. Bloodysugar says:

    Very well named.

  12. Nathan Downing says:

    Only in America can you call pasta and cheese sauce a salad

  13. DDomino Geronimo says:


  14. sara valadez says:

    Jenna marbles brought me here.. hahaha some of the monetized money made here should go to Jenna marbles lol

  15. Amari B. says:

    Garbage plates is a Rochester thing, sorry but Jenna marbles wasn't the one who started this, lol.

  16. coi tip says:

    It's what you eat when your drunk as fuck at 1am

  17. Tammie Stacy says:

    i`m going to give this a try, but instead of using mustard i`m going to use ketchup.

  18. Ezekiel Spamer says:

    I was born and raised in Rochester. I cooked for over twenty years and I can confirm hands down the garbage plate is the greatest secret of this City. If I ever moved away from Rochester I would seriously consider opening up a hots place in a small college town that's never heard of them before. Right in walking distance of the Campus.

    Cheese Burger Plate, HF, Beans (warmed up), ket, must, onions, meat sauce!

  19. Neurotic Sos says:

    Opener: "I feel like one of the things about, like, the garbage plate itself is that, like, really anything can go into it"
    Response: "What I like about stingray is that they blend the fusion of Latin food and Japanese food"


  20. Jacob Brooks says:

    Im from rochester NY garbage plates= life

  21. iRushSnobby says:

    i have had tons in this place

  22. marie m says:

    Those are so delicious

  23. Bill-or-somthing bill says:

    Nick (Ta-Hoe) is how your supposed to say it

  24. Dario Hall says:

    that sounds fucking gross

  25. Suck Me says:

    So no season 3? :,-(

  26. John Hancock says:

    Nick Tahou's sucks go literally anywhere else lol

  27. M.A.D.D G.O.A.T TV says:

    @3:13 Tell that to the Natives.

  28. I Know A Guy Delivery Service says:

    Hobo hash is what it's called here in WA

  29. JB MONROE MUSIC says:


  30. ZeroWolf says:

    Shit plate

  31. Xavier Pierre says:

    change the god damn name

  32. andy gonzalo says:

    your a copy cat

  33. CERO PRIDE says:

    Over glorified

  34. Alon Krool says:

    Yooooo, I was feeling pretty weird this whole video and I didn’t know why, and then it hit me… he sound exactly like Adam from college humor

  35. Alejandro says:

    Rochestarian and they show a guy with dreads haha

  36. Chris Luce says:

    I’ve had many different garbage plates in rochester. The original is good. But try jays diner with the fries. I don’t know why but jays is just awesome for a garbage plate.

  37. Jimmy Tran says:

    I’d eat this.

  38. Marvin Hamiter says:

    Bro got no lips like none 😂😂 I’m looking at him speak like where’s this niggas lips at he got all of nothing 😂

  39. Tyler Stockton says:

    Fulla trash

    But still hungry for garbage

  40. Michael Wulf says:

    those garbage plate farts must be absolutely horrendous

  41. Rise 2k says:

    This is Rochester’s best kept secret…for everyone that doesn’t live in Rochester

  42. Zach m says:

    If u dont get a garbage plate with meat hot ur doing it wrong

  43. array s says:

    2:55 thats half full! Thats not garbage plate!

  44. Frank Robert says:

    To Rochester, tallyho!

  45. western11h says:


  46. AshGreninjaBC says:

    This is gross

  47. Christina Cline says:

    two bros, chillen in a restaurant, one seat apart cus they're not gay

  48. xxtupuesxx says:

    Okay, so, I'm a native Rochestarian and I'm disappointed that nobody mentioned that we are also have Zwiegle's white hot dogs. That's how I eat my plates.

  49. PorkyPine says:

    Hit my calorie limit for the day just by watching this…

  50. WestWard Pomona Gyrl says:

    Mustard on the side please

  51. Elementsage says:

    lol its not a secret since you guys told everyone and now the hipster fucks are ruining the culture in that city

  52. 714milky says:

    * unequivocally

  53. Rahxa says:

    Hoping to see an episode on Rocky Mountain Oysters one day

  54. Anthony Holliday says:

    Not saying that i wont try it being from buffalo i wouldn't choose it over wings

  55. neo217041 says:

    So we are not going to talk about handling money with the same gloves the food was handled with? @ 3:09

  56. Dara Wulan says:

    Garbage plate is like…. rochester’s bibimbap?

  57. Christopher Dowd says:

    How dare you call NY a rust belt state.

  58. χάος says:

    "Best Kept Secret"…it's literally the only thing I know Rochester for.

  59. gchsbus says:

    These millenial liberals with their sushi/latin garbage plate weirdness. Come on now. Thats not a real garbage plate and a garbage plate is NOT whatever you want it to be. You got to have the real basics to make it what it is. The way I like it is double mac salad because I am not a big fan of the fries, and I get two cheeseburgers AND a grilled cheese. Thats how I like to do it. Yes sir. Get two. One for now and one for later. None of that sushi tofu kale rice bullsh*t. If I wanted sushi, I would go to a sushi restaurant. And I do very much like sushi. But when its time for a garbage plate, you want a garbage plate. I am thumbing down this video on the fact of showing that food truck crap and trying to pass it off as a "version" of a garbage plate. Do a video of "Rochester foods" if you want to do that. If the video is about a garbage plate, I don't want to see any of that leftist millenial fusion sh*t. I want to see mac salad and fat. Simple. Done.

  60. Kristian Burrows says:

    Rochester is all fucked up outside that downtown area.

  61. supergangsterish1 says:

    dave infinite

  62. Ri0tz says:

    I know that dude! 7:03

  63. Uzzie B says:

    I’ve been to Rochester and had this a couple of times. It’s gross. It’s literally just mediocre hamburger patties over potatoes and macaroni salad. Nothing impressive at all.

  64. Charlie P says:

    Where is Season 3?! I loved this series and Dave Infante as host!!!

  65. Charlie P says:

    It's ironic that the rated best hospital in the world in 2019, The Mayo Clinic, is in the same city as Garbage Plates lol.

  66. Sundae says:

    I looked up Rochester to see if it’s popular. And I’m surprised at what I saw ( I live here in Rochester and it’s cool to say Rochester I live here )

  67. Bavar Lall says:

    we koreans describe a mess of different foods clumped together "daeji bop" which translates to "pig food"

  68. Kane Danaher says:

    Looks like a usual British dinner

  69. Ben Cohen says:

    AKA Rust Belt loco moco

  70. REGARD says:

    what a waste of food

  71. Hare Brahs says:

    looks terrible

  72. Diassiau says:

    Shout out the cooks on the line, they deserve more respect.

  73. Codenamex47 says:

    Every time I see one of these they look delicious and disgusting simultaneously.

  74. Bryan Ouellet says:

    "White trash plate"

  75. Hasu says:

    People who say its disgusting need to get off their high horse, I live in California and may never have such a feast but I would take this over any of the stuipid "non gmo vegan save the animals" BS we get here.

  76. HuginAndMunin says:

    Americans: "We just throw random food onto the same plate, give it a name and then we're super proud of us!"

    Good job, americans… (:

  77. Huntor9 says:

    This host gotta go.

  78. vibrant chanterelle says:

    honestly that looks terrible, nostalgia and familiarity is cool but that seems to be a shitty combination of shit food . yeah its cheap and calorie dense, as many things are, but why is it good in particular?
    i hate to sound pretentious but this may be garbage

  79. Greg LaBerge says:

    You've literally got a guy nicknamed BEEFCASTLE on the team and all you show him eating is a baseball? Get Vargas a damn plate y'all.

  80. mikecw24 says:

    The trasher plate is just a rice bowl

  81. ny9972 says:

    My hometown and I never had a garbage plate but will try one day

  82. Review My stuff says:

    So good!!! I try to get 1 once a month

  83. MN Vikings612 says:

    What does he mean they named it once? There is one in Minnesota

  84. KVNG STYLES says:

    Nice to see Rochester getting some good recognition

  85. Thrillist says:

    Don't miss season 2 of InstaChef here:

  86. Ben Bleyendaal says:

    till you get a hair in one

  87. Sadie Schoonover says:

    i live in rochester and nick tahous has the worst garbage plate in rochester!

  88. Daniel DeRey says:

    None of these look as good as the one Babish made

  89. ToXiC VOID says:

    My home town salute🇮🇹

  90. Morelife Coppo says:

    You got to do a part 2 either go to dinosaur bbq or get a dirty corner store sub with boss sauce you won’t be disappointed

  91. Robert Frost says:

    2:14, he's close it's nutmeg

  92. scoobydog411 says:

    The Queen don't eat that poor people food.

  93. Sunset Drive says:

    A veggie garbage plate from Rochester, NY is a culinary rainbow extravaganza!

  94. Tenzack YOGI says:

    Depression food or recession food.

  95. thisdog rules says:

    I've lived in Roc all my life and this is my favorite food of all time.

  96. 3 B31 says:

    1:28 dips fork in 3000 calorie meal, ends up with one potato and one macaroni 😂

  97. Brandon Nemitz says:

    Minute I get back from this enlistment I’m gonna stop by nicks on my way home from the airport

  98. Jason Boyd says:

    That shit looks disgusting!

  99. VR Vegas says:

    As a local, I can say, they are so good.

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