Wednesday, November 29, 2017

winter comfort food: the garbage plate

A recent Binging with Babish video shows our hero making something called a "garbage plate," which turns out to be tremendum et fascinans at the same time. (Food Wishes also has a decade-old garbage-plate exposé.) After watching a few more garbage-plate-related videos, I acquired enough knowledge to have a vague understanding of the meal's history and significance: the garbage plate (also known in some non-Rochesterian locales by an unofficial alternative moniker: the "trash plate") originated at Nick Tahou Hots restaurant in Rochester, New York, and continues to be a source of Rochester pride. The de rigueur components are crispy home fries, macaroni salad, meat sauce, and Zweigle's whites, which are a Weißwurst-style American hot dog. (There's also a hamburger-topped variant of the garbage plate, which feels a bit redundant given the ground beef in the meat sauce.) There's wiggle room when it comes to condiments: you can add onions, ketchup, mustard, relish, and a host of other components. Hot sauce is often considered a must; beans are often in attendance as well. The idea is to produce a heart-clogging mess of a meal that most moderate-sized human beings will be utterly unable to finish. That's part of the mystique, too: when you make a garbage plate, you never make it small. This is Amurrican junk food at its unabashed best.

Or worst.

Anyway, having now watched several garbage-plate videos on YouTube, I'm inspired to make my own, but I think I'm going to wait for the dead of winter, in January, to invite some friends over and have a go at this. The garbage plate falls squarely in the category of comfort food, but because you're supposed to be served so much of it, the food may end up being more a source of discomfort. No doubt my meal will be a horror show, but that's part of the fun.


Charles said...

Sounds horrific!

Count me in.

Kevin Kim said...

I just texted with Tom. He'll be in the Philippines for a good chunk of his winter break, but he said he's coming back on January 18, so I'm going to shoot for a Charles-Tom-Patrick meet-up in late January, if that works for you guys.

As for al-tang... I may just whip you up a batch to deliver to you since I'm pretty sure Tom won't want any. That, or you can just come on over yourself (and/or with HJ), and we'll hit the stew together.

Charles said...

I have no idea what my schedule is going to be like when we get back, but I can't imagine it will be all that busy until the semester starts. I'm sure we'll be able to work out visits.