PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Blair”

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a Midtown Lunch’er for their recommendations of places to eat lunch in Midtown. Today, it’s Blair a Marketing Coordinator.  I introduced her to Cafe Zaiya, and she has introduced me to the wonderful world of Rochester, NY garbage plates…

Name: Blair


Marketing Coordinator

Where in Midtown do you Work?:
41st & Lex.

Favorite Kind of Food:
Street meat, cheese, and crab legs

Least Favorite Kind of Food:
Anything served at an Old Country Buffet. Nothing like seeing various, unidentifiable foods scooped out of opaque plastic bags and dumped into a buffet trough

Favorite Place to Eat Lunch in Midtown:
Food Trends (41 btw. Mad+Park), probably the greatest by-the-½-pound buffet. At 3.99 for ½ lb, chose carefully, otherwise you can easily spend well over $10 for lunch. I usually grab the wasabi crusted salmon bites or Israeli cous-cous from the cold section. And in the hot section, mango lime mahi-mahi and the coconut shrimp are choice

The “go-to” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often: Old Bridge Deli (41st & Lex.), it has something for everyone and for the innumerable delis in the area, this one is decent with good buffet.

Place you discovered thanks to MidtownLunch: Café Zaiya. They need a frequent onigiri card like Oms/b; I eat at least 4-5 a week. Also, Kati Roll, Oms/b, & Todai..

Dream job location, purely for lunch purposes?: If a job market existed there, I would pick my hometown of Rochester NY. I’m obsessed with garbage plates: a mélange of cheeseburger + hotdog + macaroni salad + home fries then drizzled with ketchup, mustard, and hot sauce. U-n-r-e-a-l.


GARBAGE PLATES???  Your ideas intrigue me and I’d like to subscribe to your newsletter…  if you’ve never seen one of these things (I hadn’t), Blair sent me a link to this photo, which you can see after the jump: 

Photo from Nick Tahou Hots, Rochester NY. Courtesy of via Tigerhawk

Wow.  Now that is unbelievable.  I worked in Massachusetts for a long time, so I am very familiar with American Chop Suey (Garbage on a plate in its own right)… but this takes it to another level. 

Does this thing exist outside of Rochester?  And by that I mean, are there garbage plates in Midtown???  Anybody???  (Although maybe it is best left in Rochester.  Just looking at the picture is making my heart seize up… and not in a good way.)  Oh my lord. U-N-R-E-A-L is right.

As always, if you have any Midtown Lunch news or you’d like to be next weeks Profiled Midtown Lunch’er, just email me at


  • YEAH, Nick Tahou’s Garbage Plate… Dont forget their secret ingredient, a nice scraping of grease from the flattop they cook burgers on.
    Blair forgot to mention that the garbage plate is only best at 4am, when drunk. If she eats it any other time of day… much respect.
    Funny how growing up in Buffalo, the garbage plate never made it east of Rochester… ahh regional cuisine.

  • I think that photo just made me hard.

  • i agree with big jim that garbage plate looks FANTASTIC!!!

  • I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

  • That is one of the NICEr looking garbage plates I’ve seen. Usually, they’re dumped onto a styrofoam container and the bread comes out of a black garbage bag on the floor. If you’re a woman and you can finish a whole plate, people will give you a lot of props. =) Props to you, Blair!!!

    You MUST mix all of it together with hot sauce and ketchup before consuming.

    Recently heard a rumor that Nick Tahou’s changed their name to Steve T’s. Not sure if that’s true though.

    Seen lots of imiatations, but nothing compares to this.

  • mmm…Nick Tahou’s….brings me back to the days of sending pledges to bring back garbage plates at all hours of the night…..

  • How much do people actually pay for this big plate o’ vomit?

  • This reminds me of the “diner stack” I used to get at Merry Ann’s in Champaign, Illinois. Two biscuits, two eggs, sausage or burger patties, slathered in white gravy. Some Tabasco on top and dig in. Mmm.

  • Growing up in Rochester, I can certainly attest to the unparalled experience of this late night staple. It has actually begun to expand geographically and there is now a Buffalo chain called “University Hots” with several locations. I have heard there are a few places that have popped up in Syracuse as well. Almost unbelievably, there is actually a “Rochester Hot’s” located in a mall food court owned by a Rochester native not too far from Hilton Head, SC.

    Since moving from Rochester to NYC I have combed various search enginges and sites looking for a venue that serves the illusive plate. Not too long ago I came across an article in Time Out New York that referred to a Broolyn bar called “Trout” that supposedly added their version of the garbage plate to the menu after the owners had a taste up in Rochester. I have not yet ventured to this bar but hope to soon. Word of advice if you are going to try it–I hear that it is only served after 10PM.

    I am actually headed home to Rochester for the long weekend and will be making a stop for a plate first thing off of the plane. If anyone has or does try out the Trout Garbage Plate send word as to how it is.

  • This reminds me of a chicken-and-biscuits place that was (and probably still is) in Chapel Hill. They would sell those short on funds a big bucket of fried bones. You just ate the batter off them.

  • My plate preference is Mark’s on Monroe Avenue.
    They’re served all day however, it’s the go-to place after the bar. Small plates are around $5. They serve double-plates and I think triple plates, which is absurd. Plates in the city…unlikely.

  • 1. Blair seems very nice, but tell me what is not “various, unidentifiable food” or “scooped out of a trough”-like about a garbage plate.

    2.Christopher – TIME OUT??!! It was right next to Granville Towers and the bathrooms were grosser than the garbage plate. (Though who really cares when you just need a place to vomit your chicken and biscuits at four am on a Saturday?)

  • The four best things about Western New York: chicken finger subs, el nino burritos, jim’s steak out, and garbage plates.

  • DT, Trout does indeed have a garbage plate, and I’ve tried it. But…I was hammered, and don’t really remember how it is. That said, the bar’s worth checking out on a nice evening. You can also order watermelon by the slice, and corn on the cob.

  • jen, please dont compare garbage plates to old country buffet. it hurts my heart.

  • Nick Tahou gave me the runs. I missed Rochester from my college days.

  • That chicken & biscuit’s place in Chapel Hill that serves a similar hodgepodge of crap on a plate that tastes oh so good around 4am… Time Out! And yes, it remains a Carolina staple to this very day :-)

  • OMG that looks like something that looks the same coming and going. But yes I’d get one. Apparently its the bastard child of poutine and a chilli dog… or maybe a car wreck….

  • I’m surprised no-one from Rochester has commented on the smell of the garbage plate – an aroma that can linger on a diner for hours. Back at UR it was considered polite to shower immediately after returning from Nick’s.

  • I’ve had the garbage plate. It should be deposited directly into it’s name sake. It’s not worth the wait, nor the potential shooting you face outside of the place. Rochester’s best street food are the burgers and bombers at the carts downtown. I would kill for a Campy’s bomber.

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