"Dude, you're pretty sober. Drive us to Nick's!"
July 16, 2010 2:08 PM   Subscribe

Nick Tahou Hots in Rochester, NY is famous for being the home of the Garbage Plate. According to Health magazine the Garbage Plate is New York State's Fattiest food, with potentially 200 grams of fat.
posted by Mayor Curley (76 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
Garbage is a good description. Revolting.
posted by gomichild at 2:13 PM on July 16, 2010


I've heard of this magical dish. Sounds wonderful.
posted by nola at 2:14 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Says you. I say wonderful.
posted by ifjuly at 2:14 PM on July 16, 2010


You're all wrong! It's wonderful!
posted by dammitjim at 2:16 PM on July 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Garbage plates are great! Here's the listing from the Rochester Wiki.
posted by domnit at 2:17 PM on July 16, 2010


Before drinking: hells no.

After ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED--THE DRUNKENING: Bring that shit.
posted by everichon at 2:18 PM on July 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


I was stuffed when I finished the plate. After about an hour and a half I got sleepy from it. It's very rich!

And then night fell! Followed, some hours later, by sunrise! And then the sky got lighter!
posted by gurple at 2:19 PM on July 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Nothing wrong with this. It's American peasant food.
posted by vacapinta at 2:20 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've had a few in my time, but just the carbs. I'm a vegetarian and there's no way Jimmy was going to get me a grilled cheese or fry me some eggs with a line of drunks out the door.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:20 PM on July 16, 2010


I lived in Philadelphia as a kid and my family was taking care of my great-grandma and grandma for an extended period of time. We were pretty poor, and we'd have casseroles of hamburger, pork & beans and corn meal. Apparently me or my sister called it garbage one day, and the name stuck.
posted by boo_radley at 2:21 PM on July 16, 2010


My garbage of choice is white hot half-plate with macaroni salad. You really need to get the white hot, because that's also a Rochester thing.
posted by k8lin at 2:21 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait, is that picture from before the dog ate it and threw up, or after?
posted by Floydd at 2:25 PM on July 16, 2010


I had one last summer. It hit the spot. It hit a few spots actually. NO REGRETS!
posted by yeti at 2:27 PM on July 16, 2010


Garbage is a good description. Revolting.
posted by gomichild


Eponysterical.
posted by Alison at 2:27 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


If that plate doesn't look delicious, you're still sober.

( Is Nick Tahou related to C.M.O.T. Dibbler, by any chance? )
posted by mikelieman at 2:30 PM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Isn't this the place Al Roker credits with sending him on his way to morbid obesity? Or is that some other Rochester eatery?
posted by briank at 2:32 PM on July 16, 2010


I've had a few in my time, but just the carbs.

In the interests of full disclosure, I think you should mention your personal bias in that you almost met the love of your life in that parking lot one Sunday at 5 am when she tried to climb into the car we borrowed.

Why Nick Tahou's doesn't do Fed Ex shipments like Omaha Steaks, I'll never know but always regret.
posted by yerfatma at 2:34 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I for one choose to marry this carrot instead.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:35 PM on July 16, 2010


Patton Oswalt needs to see this.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:36 PM on July 16, 2010


It looks good, but it's no (Metafilter's own!) Greasy Honky Pie.
posted by SNWidget at 2:36 PM on July 16, 2010


But that's mainly because I hate mayo and mustard and hot sauce.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 2:36 PM on July 16, 2010


I'm sure Patton Oswalt could do a whole hour on this. I could probably down two of these in that hour. I win.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:41 PM on July 16, 2010


I guess this is just a long-form version of the Slinger (greaseball diner burger, fried eggs, hash browns, covered in chili) or the Toby (the same triplet covered in sausage gravy)?
posted by notsnot at 2:43 PM on July 16, 2010


OMG that looks sooooooo good. Well, not looks good, but looks tasty. I am totally hungry right now.
posted by Xoebe at 2:45 PM on July 16, 2010


Nick Tahou's: the last place on earth my sister, then going to UR, was ever going to bring 16-year-old me and the parents Fairytale.

Sadly. That looks kind of weirdly appealing.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:51 PM on July 16, 2010


I spent my college years in Rochester and I'm not sure whether to be proud or ashamed that I never did experience Nick Tahou's. It always sounded/looked revolting, and getting down there was never so much by "designated driver" as "least drunk driver". It never quite seemed worth it.

My friend Tom visited Nick's last fall, and given my love of enduring local institutions his review makes me feel like I should make a pilgrimage when I get back to Rochester someday.
posted by usonian at 2:55 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Indiana: Fried-brain sandwich

Get out of my head!
posted by Splunge at 3:00 PM on July 16, 2010


The KFC sadness bowl is not a good comparison. That was the leading edge of this new trend of intentionally making the most disgusting/ outrageous/ super-fatty things as some sort of perverse pride so we can stick it to them arugula eaters. I can promise you the garbage plate has no such origins and Jimmy would serve them to anyone, regardless of political affiliation. You just have to sit on the right side of the store based on race.

I wish I was kidding. I suppose it was more townie/ college student, but no matter how blitzed I was, it always made me sad.
posted by yerfatma at 3:21 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'd rather eat it than listen to Patton Oswalt talk about it.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:29 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also:

Young college men living in Rochester, who like to have contests to see how much beer or food they can consume, consider the Garbage Plate a rite of passage from boyhood to manhood.

Why does that article read as if it was *written* in 1937?
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:31 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Honestly, it isn't horribly different in principle from Cincinnati Empress Chili nth of the ways--greasy, warmly spiced ground meat contrasted with a rich but bland starch--buttery spaghetti there, cold creamy macaroni salad here--and some nice clashing temperatures (either through sour cream or cheese in the one case or just the cold mac salad in Rochester). That sense combined with the whole "late night drunken meal full of grease to sop up the alcohol" Mexican approach.

Oh Rochester, my hometown, sometimes you really do do some things right. This is one of them, along with Genny cream ale, the Eastman House, the Little Theater, farmer's market, split and charred white hots, and of course the ground-meat clove-y hot sauce in general. I always wanted your gastronomic sensibility to meet up with Pittsburgh's (home of Jojo's omelets the size of a baby and Primanti french fry sandwiches); I bet you'd do nicely married together.
posted by ifjuly at 3:32 PM on July 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I went there nearly a decade ago, while visiting friends upstate. Walked in with a huge group of people and heard my future wife say to a friend, "No thanks. You're gonna eat that and then poop your way to happiness." The plates looked disgusting, so we didn't order anything.

My arteries are probably thankful.
posted by zarq at 3:39 PM on July 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of sad that they went with deep-dish pizza for Illinois--nothing against the 'za, I love it, but they really should have gone with the Horseshoe.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:05 PM on July 16, 2010


Why does that article read as if it was *written* in 1937?

I don't know, but you're totally right. For extra fun, read it out loud in the WWII-era newsreel announcer voice (rapid, clipped, halfway to nonrhotic).
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 4:06 PM on July 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


My garbage of choice is white hot half-plate with macaroni salad. You really need to get the white hot, because that's also a Rochester thing.

HELL YEAH IT IS! I'm from Rochester too, and the white hotdog is one of those things I keep having to explain to outsiders. "No, it's not good, but it's local..." If you're going to Nick's, you need to get it with the white hot.

I am the only person I know who's ever eaten a garbage plate sober. This saddens me.

And there's no cheating by going to The Other Nick's. You have to go to the one downtown. The one where people get stabbed all the goddamn time. ("Somebody got stabbed outside of Nick Tahou's last night." "Again?")
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 4:10 PM on July 16, 2010


Wait...is The Other Nick's location still open? It's been a while.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 4:20 PM on July 16, 2010


I am the only person I know who's ever eaten a garbage plate sober.

Not just sober - I can't imagine eating this much food in one go without having first smoked a reefer the size of a baby's arm
posted by jtron at 4:27 PM on July 16, 2010


Kentucky: KFC Double Down

It's like they're not even trying.
posted by gordie at 4:30 PM on July 16, 2010


Rochester, NY? Not a bad place. One of the greatest schools of music in the world (Eastman School); the University of Rochester easily rivals the Ivy League; Rochester Institute of Technology is one of the great digital media and printing technology institutions on earth; wonderful lilacs; Lake Ontario; Irondequoit Bay;home of Xerox and Eastman Kodak; lots of other stuff. Wouldn't live there because the winters are too long.

If you make it out there, try "Don and Bob's", down by the lake. They do a really nice white hot, and a killer fish fry on Fridays.
posted by Vibrissae at 4:31 PM on July 16, 2010


Damn it, a FPP about my hometown and I didn't make it!

The 200 grams of fat? That's a conservative estimate. I used to work at a place nearby and we'd get together at lunch and do a takeout run. They'd put them all in a box along with an entire bottle of ketchup and bag with about two loaves of bread in it. More than once they would leak on the way back, leaving a fragrance in the car that would last for weeks. Good stuff.
posted by tommasz at 4:45 PM on July 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Harvey Jerkwater, only the main location is open now, and not at night.
posted by tommasz at 4:53 PM on July 16, 2010


the University of Rochester easily rivals the Ivy League

I'd like to think I did my part to keep that from being true. For the record: two cheeseburgers, hot sauce, home fries and the best mac salad I've ever tasted. I've spent years trying to recreate it. I've come to accept the truth is probably that they scraped the shit off the grill into the mac salad as a secret sauce. At least, that's what I tell myself when another batch of mac salad is good, but not Nick's Good.
posted by yerfatma at 5:20 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've spent years trying to recreate it. I've come to accept the truth is probably that they scraped the shit off the grill into the mac salad as a secret sauce. At least, that's what I tell myself when another batch of mac salad is good, but not Nick's Good. -yerfatma

My family did too and then the local paper's column "Ask-it Basket" ran a recipe. Turned out the secret was clove, not too much (! seriously, if you add too much you'll ruin the entire vat) but it's got to be in there. FWIW, here's that version (warning: self-link to my LJ). We make it every summer and it's yummy.
posted by ifjuly at 5:24 PM on July 16, 2010


D'oh. You're not talking about the hot sauce, but the salad! Sorry. But for the record there too, yes, it really is the best cold mac salad ever. Yeah, I don't know why either. Probably has a ton of some disgusting don't-ask-don't-tell canned or whatever fat product in it. So good. It's what makes the whole plate, in my opinion.
posted by ifjuly at 5:25 PM on July 16, 2010


I just went from "Oh my god, I thought my dog got hit by that truck, but she totally didn't!" to picking up roadkill in the span of two posts. I should have been more specific. Or you should have waited to post the follow up until I could find your Amazon wishlist and send you everything on it before I figured out your mistake.

On the other hand, it now occurs to me I could write to Bon Appetit to make them go there and ask. Worst case scenario is Jimmy (if he is still above-ground and got relocated to the main location) chases them out of the store with the sawed-off shotgun he was purported to have under the register. Best case, I get the recipe. Actually, flip those around.
posted by yerfatma at 5:33 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree with yerfatma and ifjuly-- best mac salad anywhere.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:35 PM on July 16, 2010


I went to Nick Tahou's with some colleagues about a year or two after I arrived at my SUNY college (about twenty minutes away). This was apparently one of those things that you have to do at least once. So, with considerable trepidation, I tackled one of these things. Or, rather, it tackled me. Then wrestled me to the ground, kicked me around a bit, and left me sobbing for mercy.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:05 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, this post made me wanna join Metafilter (finally). As a Rochester transplant, Nick Tahou's has inspired tons of imitators in the area. Around here, we refer to them colloquially as "plates." Due to copyright restrictions, only Nick Tahou's plate can be called a "Garbage Plate."

These variants go by different names; here are a few of my favorites (from the Roc Wiki Article "Trash Plate," "55 Junker Plate," "Hummer Plate" (double entendre there!) and my favorite from the Klassy Kat (strip joint)... the "Kitty Litter Plate." And might I say, the Kitty Litter Plate is a mighty fine plate!

for those looking for an approximation of the meat hot sauce used on garbage plates, Coach Tony's sauce is pretty close.
posted by lotusstp at 7:36 PM on July 16, 2010


I looked to see what NC's fattiest food was. It was livermush.

My heart is broken.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:41 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


my favorite from the Klassy Kat

The Klassy Kat is still around? Wow. Probably the same girls that were there in 1996.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:44 PM on July 16, 2010


The Klassy Kat isn't and it never was. Rick's on E. Henrietta Rd. is a step above, if you're into that sort of thing.
posted by tommasz at 7:52 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


First road trip from Buffalo with the future Mr. Oflinkey was to get a garbage plate, back when downtown was open at night. Fun times, true love, etc.
posted by oflinkey at 8:11 PM on July 16, 2010


I've lived in Rochester for 6 years and have more than a couple a year, including one in the past week. I hope this isn't too self-linky but, of course, there's a flickr group. That said, I LIKE them and I find the pool of photos disgusting...
posted by knile at 10:05 PM on July 16, 2010


I used to make something we called a garbage plate almost every day when my Dad would come home from lunch in the summer when I wasn't in school. It was a highly variable recipe, basically involving mixing together a bunch of stuff that was technically food on its own, but wasn't when mixed together. Staples included cottage cheese, canned fruit cocktail, ketchup or various other sauces, brown sugar, tunafish, and random powders from our massive spice closet (literally a closet, with a real door, but only an inch deep. I've never seen anything like it in any other house). When I made it in a bowl it was "a dog's breakfast," and the whole thing was sort of a game to make something he would refuse to eat. Thing is, I ALWAYS LOST. He ate it every time, no matter how foul.

Thinking back on it, I'm not sure if this was him being defiant and trying to beat me at this "game" or if it was more akin to wearing even the ugliest tie given as a fathers' day gift.

Anyway, I'm a little disappointed to think that maybe he knew about this dish when he started calling it that. It hurts to think that a piece of my childhood may have been a lie.
posted by LiteOpera at 11:02 PM on July 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Another recipe. Still no mac salad.
posted by yerfatma at 4:43 AM on July 17, 2010


I clicked around and noticed that the fattiest food for Pennsylvania is the Philadelphia Cheese Steak, but that's not even close. A Primanti Brother's sandwich has so much stuff on it, french fries, slaw, cheese, choice of meat, an optional egg, etc, (some elements fried in butter, naturally) that it has got to be the winner. So, I looked around and even the humble Primanti Cheesesteak has 90 grams of fat, compared to the 45 for the Philly version.

Of course, once I started discussing this with my husband we decided that we needed our own sandwiches that instant...so that is why it took me two hours to write this comment.
posted by Alison at 8:30 AM on July 17, 2010


My future husband and I moved to Rochester in 2000 after graduating from undergrad in Missouri. He was a phd student at University of Rochester. A few weeks after moving there we went to a local diner. I had noticed something called white hots and red hots on several menus. The waitress looked somewhat friendly, so I decided I'd finally ask what these were. She came to take our order, and I asked, "What's a hot?" She looked at me in disbelief, waiting for a giggle or some signal that I was messing with her. As I returned her stare steadily, she began to describe hots to me. "They are like long tubes of meat. Reds are generally saltier, White are spicier." Then, I got it, "Oh, they are hot dogs!"

Stupid out of towners.

My vote goes to white hots. They are delicious. When I try to describe them to others, I often end up telling them that for some reason they remind me of medicated chapstick. That doesn't really sell anyone on them, but it's somewhat accurate.

Never made it to Tahou's. The level of drunk I'd have to be to go there would not correlate to driving. Also, the mythical stabbings.
posted by fyrebelley at 8:58 AM on July 17, 2010


what the hell kind of hot sauce has meat in it? I think the rest of the country would call that coney sauce without any beans.
posted by LiteOpera at 9:21 AM on July 17, 2010


I am the only person I know who's ever eaten a garbage plate sober. This saddens me.

Don't be sad, Harvey Jerkwater. I have also eaten a garbage plate sober. At the real location - the one where people get stabbed all the time.
posted by k8lin at 9:52 AM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This post suddenly makes me wish that they still ran that stupid catamaran ferry between Toronto and Rochester.
posted by generichuman at 10:59 AM on July 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


I saw this and, just for one brief moment, I was upstate.
posted by newdaddy at 12:27 PM on July 17, 2010


what the hell kind of hot sauce has meat in it? I think the rest of the country would call that coney sauce without any beans.
I'm pretty sure "coney sauce" is a regional term. The best region-free term I ever heard for it was "sort of like a loose meat chili".
posted by knile at 2:41 PM on July 17, 2010


Indeed, I've never heard the term "coney sauce." I think the rest of the country would call that "chili."
posted by MrMoonPie at 3:25 PM on July 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hot dog chili. That's what WE call it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:34 PM on July 17, 2010


"Due to copyright restrictions, only Nick Tahou's plate can be called a "Garbage Plate."

HAHAHA

I am from Rochester and this is a great pre-"correct food" plate. Foodies are such downers sometimes- these are great. / I'm partial to the garbage plate from Marks Texas Hots on Monroe ave. They put on fresh steak fries and raw onion.

One of these meals will get you through an entire Rochester winter day , like 3 meals in one. Yummage!

Where ever Rochester got the concept of "Texas hots" (common) - a hot dog with ground beef crumb-grease mixture on it- is open to a whole nuther investigation. There is little "Texas" in Rochester and vice versa!

If they can market "sinfully delicious" frozen yogurt to women.. then I say for dudes, garbage plates are as good as sex. ...
posted by celerystick at 9:36 PM on July 18, 2010


There is a "Foodie" version of this plate sold at the Gate House , located in the heart of Rochester's Village Gate Square. It's the "Mini Burgers" plate; garlic rosemary fries, pasta salad & 2 cheeseburger sliders. The sauce is excellent, BTW. The key to the garbage plate, IMHO, is the sauce. The meatier & spicier the better. BONUS MEAT!

And I know for a fact that some of the purveyors of plates dump their griddle scrapings into their pot of boiling hot sauce. I once ordered a plate from Fairport Hots only to find, after eating half the plate, that a metal nut from a bolt was mixed in with my homefries and mac salad. Almost bit down on that! Needless to say, when I brought it to their attention, the chef said "Oh, I've been looking for that!"

Haven't been back there yet...
posted by lotusstp at 6:44 AM on July 19, 2010


lotusstp links to the right page, but the wrong sauce, if you're looking to order some for home use.

The Lyle Avenue Nick Tahous is now "Steve T's" - the last time I was in town, I was told Steve was Nick's brother, and took over the Lyle Ave restaurant. There was a falling out with the family, or something, so he renamed it. I have no idea if it's true or what the whole story is.

Anyway, you can order Steve T's sauce at nystyledeli.com. It's more soupier than the real deal, but if you live 12+ hours from Nick Tahou's *sob* it's a fair substitute.

The Main Street Nick's is the real deal, though. I never saw a stabbing, but did witness a line of three customers simultaneously hurl their garbage plates at the staff - one of which then pulled a gun and chased them out of the restaurant. Good times. This was 12+ years ago... since then they've stopped serving 24 hours, I think they're only open until 8pm nowadays.
posted by Roommate at 1:54 PM on July 19, 2010


I'm currently at work about a block away from Tahoe's. I can assure you that the stabbings are not at all mythical.

I actually love Fairport Hots, even though the place is a shithole.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:09 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm currently at work about a block away from Tahoe's.

Hey, is McGregor's still open? The real one, not the one out by Marketplace Mall.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:24 PM on July 27, 2010


Yeah, they got 4 locations now. Me and the SO just went to the Canadaigua one on the way to see the black keys and flaming lips at CMAC. Rochester in the summer is the best.

Side note-We know the guy who built the fairport one.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 12:52 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, is McGregor's still open? The real one, not the one out by Marketplace Mall. I loved the one by Marketplace (especially as compared to the meatmarket that was The Creek), but I think I heard that it is sadly gone. Which was the real one? I remember going to one near Mount Hope Cemetary, as well as one out in Fairport.

They're still around, but I don't remember any of these locations.
posted by usonian at 12:54 PM on July 27, 2010


They're still around, but I don't remember any of these locations.

How odd. The original was on (I think) Gregory Street nearish the cemetery. The five-dollar pitcher specials were amazing in that they often included actual good beer. We got Rogue Shakespeare Stout for five bucks a pitcher one night. This was in the mid 90's when I was at UR.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:06 PM on July 27, 2010


Ah McGregor's. One of my fondest memories of freshman year was this vague acquaintance following me back from a party, yammering on and on about how it was the best bar in the world, but they didn't let anyone into the place unless you were at least 25 to keep underage kids out, yadda yadda yadda, all the way back to the dorm I was walking to with an attractive young lady. It all led to the following exchange:

Me: "So you're majoring in botany?"
Him: (whips head around) "Huh? No—"
Tree in his way: "*THUNK*"

When we got back to my room, I noticed her beat-up key ring was from McGregors. She was probably 15 when she got it.
posted by yerfatma at 2:10 PM on July 27, 2010


The original McGregor's was apparently at 381 Gregory Street and is now a bar called "The Tap and Mallet."

Also the guy in yerfatma's story was not me. I didn't know him until we were seniors.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:37 PM on July 27, 2010


Please, if I were going to embarrass you with a story about McGregor's, wouldn't it be screeching your breaks through an intersection on the way home when there was a cop going the other way?
posted by yerfatma at 3:43 PM on July 27, 2010


I didn't know how many Rochester folk were on mefi. YEEEEE
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:13 AM on July 28, 2010


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