Garbage Plate

Originally known as hots and potots (hots being the upstate New York term for hot dogs), the garbage plate is a Rochester, New York, signature dish created during the great Depression by diner man Alex Tahou. His aim: to deliver maximum nutrition at minimum cost. Alex’s son Nick renamed it a garbage plate to celebrate its anything-goes exorbitance. There never was one single way to make a garbage plate, but as the name suggests, it necessarily includes many disparate ingredients. The base typically is fried potatoes and/or macaroni salad or possibly baked beans. Atop the starch(es) go a brace of grilled hot dogs, hamburgers or cheeseburgers, or your choice of sausage, chicken, ham, fish, egg, or a grilled cheese sandwich. These typically are garnished with chili, mustard, ketchup, and chopped raw onions.

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