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The Garbage Plate

Would you eat something called the Garbage Plate? The name does rather take one aback. This unusual creation began in Rochester, New York and was the ingenious idea of then-college student Nick Tahou. His original dish included two hamburger patties and a combination of two sides such as home fries, macaroni salad, and beans. All of this was smothered in ketchup and hot sauce. It was all served with bread or rolls on the side. Back in the 1980s college students went wild for it and thus it became known as the Garbage Plate. Actually I think it sounds pretty good. It was looked upon as a sort of midnight snack and usually served at diners from midnight to 4 AM.

Having become famous you can still get the Garbage Plate in Rochester however each restaurant (except for Nick Tahou’s original) which serves it tends to adjust the name like Sloppy Plate or Messy Plate. There are now many different combination plates which include food like a cheeseburger, hot dog, egg, sausage, and even steak. All of them have the same base which is half of a plate loaded with home fries and the other half has macaroni salad. Everything else gets dumped right on top.

I love sloppy food at times when I’m really hungry so I took this idea further and made it my way. Ready for this? A nice sauce with plenty of tomatoes, ground beef, red beans, and spices. I don’t combine two sides I just make a pile of spaghetti. Load up a plate, ladle on the sauce, grate plenty of cheddar cheese or any kind of cheese that is available and sprinkle it on top and wait for it to melt. Sprinkle on chopped raw onions and it’s ready to go.  Another wild combination is to make a fantastic taco salad and plop it on top of a pile of rice and sprinkle cheese over it all. In other words, use your imagination and go for it.

  • Question /

    Have you heard about the garbage plate?

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  • Question /

    Do you enjoy sloppy food combinations?

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