EIC Eats No.5: Rochester’s Famous Garbage Plate


Matthew Breault

A “Garbage Plate” made by Rochester native and UticaTV Station Manager Francis Tavino.

Matthew Breault, Editor-in-Chief

For the fifth edition of EIC Eats, I decided to do something I have never done in any of the previous four editions. I ate something that was not from a fast food establishment. 

UticaTV’s Station Manager Francis Tavino, who is a native of Rochester, had been telling me for weeks that I need to try his homemade Garbage Plate. I will get into what a Garbage Plate is shortly, however, I’d like to point out that a Garbage Plate is a Rochester favorite like Tomato Pie, Chicken Riggies and Half Moons are to people in Utica.

Since Garbage Plates originated in Rochester, I knew Tavino would do a great job with it. This was the most exciting experience for me because I had never tried one before. 

Here’s my review:

The Garbage Plate

This enormous combination of food was quite filling and quite delicious. Tavino’s homemade Garbage Plate consisted of macaroni salad, home fries, two cheeseburgers, a meat hot sauce, mustard, ketchup and onions. 

When I first saw the amount of food Tavino gave me in this large aluminum pan, I will admit I was a little intimidated by it. After taking the first bite, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop until it was finished. That first bite of cheeseburger, home fries and macaroni salad all in one made my fork difficult to put down.

The only non enjoyable part for me was the little bits of onions, but I dealt with it because everything else was incredible.

The macaroni salad combined with the meat hot sauce, perfectly cooked cheeseburger and home fries was something truly remarkable. I always like to try new wacky things on my burgers, and adding macaroni salad, meat hot sauce and home fries is definitely up there in terms of my favorite wacky food combinations.

The different textures of each food was probably the best part of the experience. The softness of the macaroni salad, the crunchiest of the homefries and the creaminess of the sauces made for an interesting, yet excellent combination. 

The taste of these very different foods mixed into one is something I strongly recommend trying if you have never had a Garbage Plate before. I was lucky enough to have a buddy from Rochester, so if you can find someone from Rochester to make them for you, or go to Rochester yourself, it is well worth it. 

Overall Nutrition Intake

Unfortunately for this challenge, I cannot provide any nutritional information. However, Tavino and myself came to the agreement that it was at least 2,000 calories and was definitely not healthy by any stretch of the imagination.

EIC Eats will be a biweekly part of The Tangerine, where Editor-in-Chief Matthew Breault will do some sort of food challenge either alone or with fellow staff members. Thank you all for allowing me to share my food habits with you and you will hear/read from me soon. If you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know.

EIC Eats logo. (Matthew Breault)