Nick Tahou Hots: Wikis


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Coordinates: 43°09′14″N 77°37′18″W / 43.1538°N 77.6218°W / 43.1538; -77.6218

Nick Tahou Hots
Nick Tahou Hots.jpg
Restaurant Information
City Rochester
State New York
Postal code/ZIP 14608

Nick Tahou Hots, originally known as Hots and Potatoes,[1] is a Rochester, New York landmark restaurant featuring a dish called the Garbage Plate. The restaurant was founded in 1918 by its namesake, Nick Tahou, who died in 1997. While there are other Upstate New York variants, Nick Tahou's is the originator of the Garbage Plate and, as holder of the trademark, the only restaurant able to use the name.[2]


Garbage Plate

A red hot garbage plate

A Garbage Plate is a combination of one selection of cheeseburger, hamburger, red hots, white hots, Italian sausage, chicken tender, fish (haddock), fried ham, grilled cheese, or eggs; and two sides of either home fries, French fries, baked beans, or macaroni salad. On top of that are the options of mustard and onions, ketchup, and Nick's proprietary hot sauce, a greasy sauce with spices and ground beef. It's served with rolls or Italian toast on the side,[3] which is made fresh at the bakery next door.[2]


A charitable Garbage Plate Run is sponsored by the University of Rochester's Sigma Phi Epsilon. Held annually in the spring, this three-man race begins at the U of R River Campus. The first of the team members run 2.2 miles through the city to Nick Tahou's. Once they arrive, the second teammate eats a garbage plate as quickly as they are able, then the final teammate runs back to campus to complete the race. In a race titled the "Ironman", one-man teams attempt to complete all three tasks alone.[4] CURE Childhood Cancer Association is the recipient of all proceeds collected during the event, including sponsor funds and contestant's entry fees.[5] Many Rochester Institute of Technology students have made it tradition to buy a garbage plate, take it to Nick Tahou's grave site and eat it on his birthday (January 6).[4]

Other locations

Formerly the Rochester terminal of the Buffalo, Rochester, and Pittsburgh Railway on Main Street West at Oak Street, today the Nick Tahou restaurant (circa 1900)

From 1979 to 2007, there were two Nick Tahou Hots restaurants in Rochester: one located in downtown Rochester and the other satellite restaurant located on Lyell Avenue in Gates. In 2007, Steve Tahou and his sister Joanne Tahou-Demkou, the children of Ike Tahou (Nick's brother), assumed full ownership of the Lyell Ave. location and renamed it "Steve T. Hots and Potatoes".[6] Steve has returned to using Rochester-based Zweigle's hot dogs and Italian sausages, which were used in the original garbage plates at Nick's. The original West Main Street location continue to use the trademarked "Nick Tahou" and "Garbage Plate" names, and continue to use the Nick Tahou Hot Dog branded dogs in their plates. While previously open all night, the downtown restaurant began closing at 8 p.m. in 1998 due to a spate of disturbances. Steve T.'s remains open 24 hours a day. Peak times of business occur during the weekends shortly after 2am, when local bars close.

There was also a short-lived Nick Tahou's operation in Oswego, New York, but not much is known about the location or its history.


Nick's has been featured on Food Network's Unwrapped episode titled "Funny Foods" as well as the City in a Box Monopoly-based board game showcasing famous Rochester landmarks. The Garbage Plate was also highlighted in the July 2007 issue of the US Airways in-flight magazine.[7] On the November 16, 2009 episode of "The Daily Show," Jon Stewart told the people of Rochester to "Get their heads out of their Garbage Plates."

Nick Tahou's was also featured on the Travel Channel's series Chowdown Countdown where it ranked #81 out of 101 locations.

See also

  • Cuisine of New York
  • Okonomiyaki - a Japanese dish consisting of various fried and grilled ingredients
  • Poutine - A Canadian dish consisting of French fries topped with fresh cheese curds, covered with brown gravy and sometimes additional ingredients.
  • Slinger - The St. Louis diner dish with many ingredients
  • Loco moco - Hawaiian dish of white rice topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy
  • Burgoo - a Southern and Midwestern chili-like stew made with many ingredients


  1. ^ Mitzewich, John. "The Famous Garbage Plate of Rochester, New York". Retrieved on August 31, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Stradley, Linda (2004). "History of Garbage Plate". Retrieved on August 31, 2008.
  3. ^ Nich Tahou Hots' Menu. Retrieved on August 31, 2008.
  4. ^ a b Nick Tahou Hots' official MySpace. Retrieved on August 31, 2008.
  5. ^ EVENT: Nick Tahou's Garbage Plate Run..., University of Rochester Newsletter, April 19, 2005
  6. ^ 3/9/2007 Rochester D&C Article, retrieved 12/26/2009
  7. ^ (July 2007). US Airways Magazine review of the Garbage Plate (PDF). Retrieved on September 1, 2008.

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