The Garbage Truck Brings Rochester Trash Plates to L.A.
Ever since Kogi exploded onto the scene 4 years ago wannabe entrepreneurs have flocked into food trucks of their own, spurred on by the media’s overblown coverage, many of them with no real understanding of what made Kogi a success in the first place. In other words, there have been a lot of dumb food truck ideas in this city. But there have also been a lot of genius food trucks (I’m looking at you sushi burritos!), and my love of street food keeps me rushing out every time a new one hits the streets. The latest concept to catch my stomach’s eye (that’s the bellybutton, right?) is The Garbage Truck, a new truck serving up Rochester, New York style garbage plates/trash plates.
What are garbage plates you ask? Well, imagine going to a Fourth of July picnic, eating as much as you possibly could, throwing it all up onto a plate, and having that throw up taste delicious. That’s a Rochester garbage plate. Want to see what it looks like? Of course you do!
Garbage plates are now served in Rochester in many variations, but the standard plate (supposedly first served at Nick Tahou’s) features a base of macaroni salad, baked beans or home fries (you pick two of the three) topped with hot dog and/or hamburger, cheese, a chili-ish meat sauce, and finished with chopped onions and mustard. The Garbage Truck only serves up macaroni salad and home fries, but you can top your plate with a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a hot dog, an Italian sausage, or chicken- of course (this is L.A. after all!) Plates are available in half or whole sizes, for $8-10.25. But the obvious choice is the combo cheeseburger/hot dog plate for $10.
Believe it or not there is a whole cheeseburger patty hiding underneath all that chili and mustard, along with a split hot dog, macaroni salad and home fries. And how did it taste? Well… it tastes just about how it looks… like a mess of burger, hot dog, chili, mustard, and onions. The cubed home fries are pretty great and provide a nice base, while the macaroni salad added a refreshing coolness to the whole concoction. Of course if a mayo drenched macaroni salad is the thing that “lightens” up your lunch, you’re probably in trouble. I’ve never had a real garbage plate, so I can’t really say how it stacks up, but from all the photos I’ve seen it matches up pretty well. So if you’ve always wanted to try a garbage plate without having to go to Rochester, here’s your chance.
I’m not sure what possessed these guys to open a garbage plate truck in the skinniest, most anorexia prone city in the country. And you’ve got real balls to call your business “The Garbage Truck”, especially when most of your customers have no idea what a garbage plate is. If this truck opened in the far fatter NYC, where much of the city is at least familiar with the concept (and at least a few would actually go nuts for it), the business would have a fighting chance. But L.A.? It’s hard enough making money from a truck selling things that people really want. A regional upstate New York specialty that looks as gross as its name? I don’t know.
That being said, I have to salute these guys for at least trying to plump up this city with some regional grossness. And I would pay money to see “The Garbage Truck” run the “The Clean Food Truck” off the edge of a cliff. Now if we could just get that Skyline Chili truck, we’d never have to venture inward from the coasts…
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- ROCHESTER GARBAGE PLATES IN L.A.!?!?! My dreams have been answered.
- It might look gross, but it tastes totally delicious.
- If Oki Dog can survive in this town, so can the Garbage Truck!
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I like picnic food, but everything on the plate needs to be separated.
- I really don’t like chili or yellow mustard… and that’s what this thing mostly tastes like
- Where are the baked beans!?
- I’m a communist.