‘Plateapalooza’ celebrates the trashy star of Rochester cuisine 

When I tell people that I'm from Rochester, the response typically isn't "Oh! You guys have that internationally renowned photography museum!" or "Isn't that guy from Foreigner from there?" It's usually, "Rochester? Aren't you known for that dish? That gross pile of food? What's it called, again?" It's called the garbage plate — and, legally, Nick Tahou's is the only restaurant allowed to call it the "Garbage Plate." This has led to countless area restaurants digging through the thesaurus to find another word for that burger or hot dog-topped mountain of carbs.

On Tuesday, January 30, Comedy at the Carlson (50 Carlson Road) will host Plateapalooza 2018, Rochester's "Plate" Festival. One local restaurant will walk away with the "Best Original Plate" title, and there will also be awards for "Most Creative Plate" and "Best Booth Presentation." Local radio personality Dino Kay and Comedy at the Carlson owner Mark Ippolito are behind this celebration, but the idea and name came to Kay years ago. He says he wanted to hold the event in the winter, when many locals have been buried under blankets on the couch so long that Netflix keeps asking "Are you still watching?"

Participating restaurants include Blossom Road Pub, Perri's Pizzeria, Stingray Sushi Fusion, and Fairport Hots, and others are still being confirmed. WhichCraft Brews' version of the plate will feature a meat and potato stuffed sausage, topped with meat hot sauce. Sushi Stingray Fusion's take tops a bowl of rice with panko beer-batter tempura shrimp, grilled beef, sweet plantain, sweet peppers, jalapeno, cucumber, tomato, scallions, bacon, onion crunchies, and fried garlic. Notably missing from the lineup is Nick Tahou's — they were asked, they declined.

Admission to the event is $10 and gets you samples from each of the vendors. Music will be provided by the Roc City Paupers, and Genesee beer will be flowing on tap, because what could be more Rochester than a plate and a Genny? Tickets can be purchased at Comedy at the Carlson either in advance or day of, or by visiting plateapalooza.brownpapertickets.com.

The team behind the web series Roc'n Kitchen will be celebrating the completion of their first season on Monday, January 29, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at The Lost Borough Brewing Co. (543 Atlantic Avenue). Tickets are $50 per person and include a menu created by the chefs featured in the series, including Pasquale Sorrentino from Amore and Anna Brinkman from Atlas Eats. Each dish will be paired with a Lost Borough brew. Purchase tickets at eventbrite.com.

Via Girasole Wine Bar (3 Schoen Place) will on Friday, February 2, host a free wine and cheese pairing featuring cheese from Trader Joe's. Find out why texture, acidity, fat, and tannin all play a role in the perfect wine and cheese pairing. The event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. More information at winebarinpittsfordny.com.

Rochester Brainery has teaming up with other businesses to offer some off-site classes. For $30, take Make Your Own Daal Tadka with Mary D'Souza on Monday, February 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Eat Me Ice Cream in the Hungerford Building (1115 East Main Street). Or for $20, learn from Dr. Lesley James how to make our own Winter Elixirs to "fortify the body and enhance vitality" on Wednesday, February 7, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Well Works (2851 Clover Street, Tobey Office Park Village). RSVP for these classes and more at rochesterbrainery.com.

Unter Biergarten (120 East Avenue) is slated to open on February 5 in the space formerly occupied by Victoire Belgian Beer Bar & Bistro.

Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to [email protected].

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