The Parable of the Garbage Plate

Garbage plate rochester

Ah, Rochester, NY. My home sweet home. My city offers so much that I love. The lilacs, the annual summer Jazz Festival, the nonstop party of the East Ave bar scene, the fresh, locally grown organic produce of the Downtown Farmers Market, and the intense ice hockey games of the Rochester Americans. But, there is one part of the Flower City that, above all else, I hold very close and dearly to my heart…

The garbage plate.

Enough said, right? Wrong. I could write a lifetime of sonnets on how such grease and grace dost meet in beautiful consecration. But worry not, fair reader, methinks I will spare you the headache of my garbage plate poetry. It would just be overkill, since the garbage plate is already poetry.

For those of you unfamiliar with the magic of Rochester NY garbage plates, allow me to enlighten you. The Rochester garbage plate is a magnificent amalgam of the greasiest, fattiest foods a grill and fryer can conjure, slung together on one plate of sloppy, artery clogging bliss.

The typical garbage plate Rochester invented and prides itself on consists of the following.

1. Two Hamburgers, cheeseburgers or hot dogs

2. French fries

3. Macaroni salad

4. onions, ketchup and mustard

5. Ground beef hot sauce smothered atop of everything

Of course, it would go against the very belligerent nature of the garbage plate to limit one to only these options. Eateries will often give you the choice between burgers or dogs, any sides that are offered in the joint, and then mac salad or potato salad.

There are also new age, healthier garbage plate options that have been concocted more recently such as the grilled cheese plate (relatively healthier, that is), the veggie burger plate, the soy dog plate, and (at certain places) the portabella mushroom plate.

The garbage plate, I believe, is a fine symbol to represent Rochester. The way that all of its separate flavors come together amid what appears to be a chaotic mess, much like the way all of the diverse people of the 585 come together during Jazz Fest and dance through the litter laced streets that hold the whispers of poverty and crime in their faults.