The Garbage Plate (Burger Version)

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr

If you are from the Rochester area that phrase would make your mouth water. This is any drunk college kids best friend. It is a mixture of meat, carbs, and more carbs piled onto a foam container found in Nick Tahou's and "hots" food joints all over the Rochester area. For about 6 bucks (including tip) you get this plate plus a soda, not too shabby. They have a veggie version, fish, and my favorite--the white hot version. When I left the Rochester to go to school the first thing I would do when I came home was got to a "hots" and order a garbage plate. Also dont expect to finish this unless you are drunk. For more info on this delicious dish go to and search garbage plate. (I put the direct link on here before but it messed up the rest of the recipe for some reason, so youre gonna have to do it the hard way lol) Also times are approx. if you make your own sauce or not. Also to speed things up I use Fast Microwaved Pan Fried Potatoes for the potatoes. This recipe is scaled to one, but it can really feed at least four people.... but whats the fun in sharing a garbage plate??

Ingredients Nutrition


  2. In large skillet fry chopped onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add meat, stirring constantly with fork to keep its texture fine.
  3. Once meat is cooked add water and tomato paste, cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Then add sugar and spices. Cook 30 minutes, adding water if needed.
  6. Mix together the noodles, mayo, celery, seasoning, and carrots and place into a large square foam container (or plate, but not as authentic).
  7. Fry potatoes in butter until very crispy then put next to mac salad on plate.
  8. Place OPTIONAL beans of plate if needed.
  9. Cook hamburger until well done and top with sliced cheese.
  10. Then place burgers ON TOP of the mac salad and home fries.
  11. Mix together about equal parts mustard and horseradish and pour on top of burgers and top with optional onions.
  12. Pour hot sauce or VERY LARGE spoonfuls of special sauce and a HUGE glob of ketchup over burgers (some like to stir everything together so its one huge mess).
  13. Eat with plastic fork, or just use the bread as a spoon and try not to pass out. This should take about an hour to finish.
  14. YUM, every drunk college kids dream food.
Most Helpful

i was so excited when i found this recipe. I love garbage plates! This sauce though is not right at all! it shouldnt have tomato sauce in it at all. I found a recipe that is waaaaay closer to the real thing. My advice... keep searching because this is not good.

mamahindu March 11, 2013

Oops, forgot the corrections on the cooking: In a large skillet, fry onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add meat,
stirring constantly with fork to keep the beef broken up. Once the meat
browns, add water and tomato paste. Simmer 10 minutes.

Go through it with an immersion blender a little to give it a finer
texture. Add brown sugar and spices.

Simmer 1 hour, adding water if necessary to keep it moist (but not soupy).

Bearable August 20, 2012

UR grad from 98' - if this recipe can replicate the garbage plate, then heaven is that much closer. I'm making this so my wife can understand how wonderful it is to eat. I ate at Nick Tahou's when Jimmy was still there, Pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers, homeless, drunks, business professionals, college students, basically all walks of life - all packed in there every thursday, friday, saturday night. A big, greasy staff member serving the plates, a big stack of homefries on the grill just sitting there, and the smell of garbage plates the next day was something awful. for those that lived in the area and never went - I feel so sorry for you. I even ate the plate sober it was that good. People had plates sent to them in NYC, drunk people would drive (not smart) from Syracuse - grab a plate there and take one back (my brother went and relayed this story to me). It just has no peer equal. i think the hardest thing to find will be that almost stale white, texas toast like bread they had.

it was a rite of passage, just like D-Day was at one point at UR....

phi_kappa_tau December 22, 2011

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