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  • Writer's pictureNoelle Brandmier


This week, I did a takeover of I Heart ROC's Instagram account. It was super fun, and it really got me thinking about all of the reasons I love Rochester so much. The culmination of my posts is what I can only describe as the most Rochester pairing I could come up with. It's my very own unique love letter to the city. And it revolves around garbage plates.

So here's the part where I explain what a garbage plate is. A plate consists of a variety of foods, all layered together. Typically, its a combination of home fries or french fries and macaroni salad, spicy meat sauce (we call it "hot sauce"), a cheeseburger or hot dog (we have white hots and red hots, that's a whole nother thing I won't get into), and topped with mustard and chopped onions. Oh and because you might need just a few more carbs, buttered bread is served on the side. The original plate is served by Nick Tahoe's, but you can find plates all over the city. Each restaurant has their own take, and everyone has an adamant opinion on who serves the best plate. Yes this will likely cure any/all hangovers, and yes it will also potentially give you heartburn. And we love it.

I can't take all the credit for coming up with this pairing. In January, I attended a plate and wine pairing event at Living Roots Wine & Co. It was a ridiculously fun evening, led by the knowledgeable and lovely Kate Meyers Emery. I'd wanted to find a wine pairing for one of my favorite locally made games for a while, and this was the inspiration I needed.

Thus, we have my Rochester-themed wine and game pairing: Crazy Platez & Living Roots McLaren Vale 'Grevillea' Grenache, and of course, a plate. Allow me to walk you through this pairing...

1) Crazy Platez is a fun, fast-paced game about delivering plates around Rochester as quickly as possible. It's a locally made game by Aesthetican Labs, and its only a dollar, so I recommend downloading and playing while waiting in line for your favorite plate. Crazy Platez has even been featured in an arcade at the Red Wings stadium, so you know its a local favorite.

2) Living Roots' 2018 McLaren Vale 'Grevillea' Grenache. This was my favorite wine from the pairing event. It really brings out the cinnamon in Dogtown's hot sauce and it pairs well with the variety of plate components. Living Roots is our very own local urban winery, and they produce fabulous wines.

3) My personal favorite plate (pictured above) is from Dogtown. No its not the original, but its so so good (and they have a vegetarian version!) And there we have ode to Rochester. If you happen to visit Rochester and try out a garbage plate, let me know! I'd love to hear about your experience. And remember to check out Crazy Platez and Living Roots Winery while you're at it!

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