Nick Tahou Hots: the Founder of The Infamous Garbage Plate

Rochester, New York, is famous for a particularly unique dish, the Garbage Plate, which was formed at Nick Tahou Hots, a fast food restaurant that was established in 1918.

garbage plate rochester ny

Alexander Tahou, who is the founder of the Rochester restaurant known as Hots and Potatoes, was prominent for incorporating traditional recipes into the meals. On the menu was this particular dish that often included about everything in the kitchen. This recipe would stick to customer's ribs. Over the years, Nick, the son of Alexander, took over the leadership realms of the restaurant. He updated the name of the brand to Garbage Plate. 

A Little More About the Garbage Plate

A garbage plate is a thick base of any combination of a few stick to your ribs staples which include fries, homefries, mac salad, and baked beans. The plate can be topped with "everything," which includes ketchup, mustard, and raw onions over their special meat hot sauce. Additionally, every plate comes with two whole slices of freshly buttered Italian bread. 

nick tahou hots

The OG Garbage Plate Transforms

In the process of incorporating unique recipes to suit the already existing tastes of his clients, Nick concocted the original combo plate with hamburger patties as well as two sides of home fries, beans, with a side of macaroni salad. He also coated the contents with ketchup and mixed them before serving.

loaded garbage plate

A few rolls of white bread were served on the side of the combo. The food industry named the Garbage Plate one of the fattiest foods in New York. Over the years, Garbage Plate has spawned multiple imitators that have similar names within the local area of Rochester.

Garbage Plate Gets Healthy with a Charity Run

In Rochester College, Garbage Plate is usually thought of as a nutritious late night snack. Nick Tahou is often crowded at night because the locals consider eating this sumptuous meal as a rite of passage after a night of drinking.

The meal has sparked a charity event at The University of Rochester which holds the Garbage Plate Run. The race is annually held in spring, in three races that begin at the River Campus. The first team runs about 2.2 miles from the city center to Nick Tahou's. Immediately they arrive, the second team participates in the eating of Garbage Plate as soon as they can. The proceeds of the race are sent to The Mount Hope Family Center. 

Garbage Plates for Everyone!

In 1950, Nick Tahou launched a hot dog stand that was situated in a slightly smaller building to the west side of the original location. Between 1979 and 2007, he started two more restaurants in Rochester. While one was in downtown, the other was strategically positioned on Lyell Avenue, New York.

If you've ever enjoyed a garbage plate, you know how special it really is. As such, we had to make sure Tahou's was included in our Rochester, NY art. You can check it out below or in our shop.


rochester ny flower city artwork