Theseus’s paradox asks if an object’s identity is comprised of its components or a larger metaphysical essence. The problem of the garbage plate, the iconic Rochester dish, complicates this thought experiment. A garbage plate is just a haphazard mix of various "garbage" foods. If the dish has so many interchangeable ingredients, what is — or isn’t — a garbage plate? If you change the meat, replace the mac salad or substitute the home fries, do you still call it by its name? How many modifications can you make until your food is no longer a garbage plate?

Perhaps this question is unanswerable. Perhaps that’s for the better. You probably shouldn’t think about the thousands of calories and buckets of grease that you’re ingesting as you tackle that mountain of food.

But if you are the type that likes to see how the sausage — in this case, the Zweigles white hot — is made, here are a handful of garbage plate recipes. May God have mercy on your digestive system.

Prepare the ingredients according to the packaging and then mix them into a messy concoction.

The Classic

This is more or less the standard order one would expect when getting a garbage plate. Perfect for people who want the traditional experience. Pair with a Genny.

Hamburger topped with American Cheese

Meat sauce


Mac salad

Sautéed onion

Yellow mustard

The Alternate

The fact that this variation is almost completely different yet is still a garbage plate speaks to the versatility of the dish. Pair with a Genny Light.

Zweigles white hot sausage

Meat sauce

French fries

Mac salad

Chopped Onion



For when you want to add a twist to your plate. Use Dinosaur BBQ sauce for extra-Rochester flavor. Pair with a Genny Cream Ale.

Pulled pork

Meat sauce

Steak fries

Baked beans

Onion rings

BBQ sauce

The Vegan

You may care about the well-being of animals, but right now you don’t give a shit about your own health. That makes this vegan spin on the garbage plate a perfect, cruelty-free feast. Pair with a Genny Ice.

Buffalo Tempeh

No-Meat Chili

Sweet Potato Fries

No-mayo Mac Salad

Chopped onion

Dijon mustard