If Rochester is known for only one thing, it is the Garbage Plate. Well, that and some crappy baseball team passing itself off as the Red Wings. While Nick Tahou’s may be the original, it is supposedly in a sketchy location that my friends didn’t want to find themselves in at 1:30 am. Instead, we made our way to Wimpy’s, a no-less legendary spot for Garbage Plates in the somewhat less sketchy Gates.
I was somewhat in awe of the Garbage Plate, basically a styrofoam container filled with all sorts of crap, although supposedly it started out as a real plate filled with hash browns, macaroni salad and two cheeseburger patties with a meat sauce dumped on top. It seemed that every restaurant in Rochester had a “plate” that varied depending on the cuisine, but Wimpy’s offered the classic along with some basic variations. I ordered mine with the two cheeseburgers, tots and baked beans, plus the meaty sauce. When asked if I needed anything to drink, I replied, “I think I’ve already had too much.” Of course, she wasn’t talking about booze, but it was settled.
When it arrived, it was a thing of beauty. Yet, I took that beauty and splattered it with ketchup and hot sauce before going to work. It ended up tasting, well, exactly as you would expect it. The burgers weren’t anything fancy and actually nothing was, but that didn’t stop the Garbage Plate from being one of the greatest drunken food creations ever conceived. Each bite was different, and yet equally good.
I find it hard to believe that the Garbage Plate hasn’t caught on elsewhere. It’s a simple concept, easy to execute and so damn satisfying. If only I had more nights and more livers in Rochester, I would have tried them all.