How to Put Together a Garbage Plate

Garbage plate
Eugene Peretz / Flickr / CC By 2.0
  • 01 of 07

    First, The Macaroni Salad is Plated

    Photo © John Mitzewich

    Since this was my first garbage plate, I let the counter person help guide me. Customers usually get a choice of two bases from a list that includes; home fries, pasta salad, baked beans, mac and cheese, French fries, among others. I decided to go with the healthiest choice, the macaroni salad, which I could see had tiny specks of vegetables in it. Wow, that's a lot of macaroni salad!

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  • 02 of 07

    Then Came the Home Fries

    Photo © John Mitzewich

    I was already getting nervous. They had just started, and I already had like two pounds of food on my plate!

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  • 03 of 07

    Time for the Red Hots

    Photo © John Mitzewich

    Not one, but two huge, all-beef red hots were flamed-broiled and added to the top of my mound of starch. I was wondering if the plastic plate was actually going to support all that weight.

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  • 04 of 07

    Yellow Mustard and Onions Garnish the Plate

    Photo © John Mitzewich

    No matter what kind of garbage plate you choose, they all get mustard and onions. That's just the rule.

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  • 05 of 07

    The Plate is Finished with a Mysterious Meat Sauce

    Photo © John Mitzewich

    This bizarre dish was finished with two large ladles of what the employee told me was "like chili," and "thought it was beef." In case that wasn't going to fill me up, a few slices of white bread was the final touch. I'm sure any standard chili recipe would work in case you actually decide to make this at home.

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  • 06 of 07

    My Attempt to Finish the Garbage Plate in the Name of Culinary Research

    Photo © John Mitzewich

    Looks aside, it was actually quite tasty. It reminded me of being at the company picnic, and you don't want to seem like a hog and keep going up the buffet table, so you pile as much food as will fit on your plate. It was kind of like that. I was determined to beat the garbage plate and finish the whole thing. I think the counter people were placing side bets.

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  • 07 of 07

    The Garbage Plate Wins

    Photo © John Mitzewich

    I was so close. But, I just couldn't do it. I threw in the towel...literally. But, I was glad I tried. So, if you are ever in Western New York, anywhere near Rochester, and are REALLY hungry, why not try a garbage plate for yourself. Good luck, you'll need it!

    For more info read ​The Famous Garbage Plate of Rochester, New York article in our Extreme American Cuisine category.