12 Places You Can Taste Iconic American Cuisine




Heather Ainsworth

Rochester, NY

If you like a big plate of everything, try…a trash plate. You can argue all you want about where to find the best version of this dish monster, or what it belongs to, but suffice it to say that this pile of home fries, chicken tenderloins, burger patties, red hots or white hots (types of hot dogs), meat sauce, macaroni salad, onions, eggs and whatever the restaurant or tavern wants to add to it can seem like a disaster. Yet if you sit down with friends over a pitcher of beer and savor this meal, you will see the genius of putting everything on a plate. The Garbage Plate originated at Nick Tahou Hots, a Rochester restaurant that opened in 1918. You can find it at other local restaurants, but Nick Tahou dropped it off. —AZ

If you love hot dogs, try… White Hots. If a garbage plate is too much, you can easily find one of its frequent components, warm white, all by itself. This pale, unsmoked German hot dog, popularized by the Zweigle’s family business in 1880, is made from unsalted pork and unsmoked beef and veal. Order it at any of the places along the “hot dog line,” a 20-minute drive along Lake Ontario, which includes Don’s Original (where those iconic sausages are listed on the menu simply as “hots”) ). —KO

If you love chicken piccata, try…Chicken French. Sometimes called Chicken Francese outside Rochester, this elegant dish of finely pounded chicken cutlets, coated in egg batter and simmered in a white wine or lemon-butter sherry sauce, is believed to have originated from the now-closed local restaurant Nate’s Brown Derby. It still graces the menu of nearly every Italian bistro in town, including Phillips European and Mr. Dominic’s at the Lake. —KO

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