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Got a hangover? Why this 'Garbage Plate' may be the cure

Nick Tahou Hots in Rochester, New York, is home of the original concoction that features different meats and carbs.
Got a hangover? Why this 'Garbage Plate' may be the cure
Posted at 9:45 AM, Aug 04, 2023

In honor of International Beer Day Friday  and International Hangover Day on Saturday, we've found a meal that could help a person celebrating. 

Known as the "Garbage Plate," it’s a regional cuisine that originated in Rochester, New York, now enjoyed everywhere. Loaded with carbs, meats and hot sauce, it’s been touted on social media as the ultimate hangover food. 

“The Garbage Plate: The greatest hangover food ever created,” Instagram user chefcuso wrote. “Based out of my hometown of Rochester. They sell these all over the place here, 100% customizable, meat hot sauce is the star of the show.” 

Nick Tahou Hots of Rochester is home of the original Garbage Plate, which is trademarked. Legend has it that Nick Tahou invented the plate late one night when college students came into the restaurant and requested a plate with “all the garbage on it.” 

A plate is a choice of cheeseburgers, hamburgers, Italian sausages, white or red hots. Rochester is also known for white hot dogs from Zweigle’s. The meats are served on top of any combination of carbs including home fries, French fries, baked beans, and macaroni salad. Top the plate the hot sauce, which made from spicy and sweet ground beef. If you want to go all out, add mustard, ketchup and onions.

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Nick Tahou’s has been open for 104 years and generations of families have been coming in for the Garbage Plate, said Alex Tahou, third generation owner. 

It is an affordable meal, Alex Tahou said. Decades ago, when some working folks could only afford one meal, they can get a plate and be full for the day, he said.

Today, the original Garbage Plate at Nick Tahou's costs $12.50, tax included.

Parker Zack, who attended University of Rochester from 1974 to 1978, recalls when he and his friends would get Garbage Plates after a night of smoking and drinking. He thinks his concoction of vitamins and aspirin works better than greasy foods to cure hangovers. 

Since the Garbage Plate is trademarked, it is only served at Nick Tahou’s. But plates of different names are all over western New York and even New York City. Each restaurant puts its own touches on it and they could be called the "trash plate" or just "a plate." 

Lifelong Rochester resident Sam Fantauzzo, who owns a chain of pizza shops, touts the original Garbage Plate from Nick Tahou's as the best. 

“I get red hots on my plate with mac and potatoes plus mustard and onions and Nick’s famous sauce,” Fantauzzo said. “I usually get a burger on bun on the side for dessert.” 

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