College Plates at University Hots Not Just for Students

J.M. Lesinski

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A late night eatery that has been around for years in Geneseo, New York and still going strong is University Hots. While their sister store in Buffalo has shut its doors for good, University Hots is still thriving in the small college town of Geneseo, even expanding into the building next door.

Perhaps the most iconic dish at University Hots is the college plate. The beauty of the college plate is the freedom to design, paralleling the very essence of higher education in how one carves their own path into the future.

The classic college plate (also known more universally as the garbage plate) comes in one, two, or three meat varieties. Meat options at University Hots are as follows: cheeseburger, hamburger, red hot dog, white hot dog, grilled cheese, grilled chicken, chicken finger, pulled pork, shaved steak, veggie burger, or breakfast, which consists of two eggs and bacon.

Once the meat(s) are chosen, college plates come with two sides for a base layer at the bottom. The four keystone sides at University Hots are macaroni salad, baked beans, French fries, and home fries. Substitutions cost extra, but for as low as only a dollar more, include curly fries, curly cheese fries, cheese fries, sweet potato fries, cheese home fries, onion rings, mac and cheese, and tater tots.

Finishing off the college plate preparation is the toppings selection. Meat sauce, ketchup, mustard, onions, and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce all come standard and should all be included to make the college plate a genuine University Hots college plate. Cheese sauce is a dollar extra, while BBQ and extra meat sauce are about fifty cents more as well if one elects to go for those options.

If a college plate sounds like too much, very often it usually is. Another perk of the plate is the leftovers, as most diners will attest, which is usually enough for two full meals at one low price. If the plate is not on the radar for some, the rest of the menu at University Hots is very accessible and accommodating to any diner.

Burgers at University Hots are angus beef one third pounders on a lightly toasted, soft bun. The options include the traditional cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger, double bacon cheeseburger, hamburger, double hamburger, mushroom swiss burger, bleu cheeseburger, BBQ onion ring burger, and veggie burger.

More eclectic and specialized burger options are available at University Hots too. The Baggins is your traditional breakfast burger, which comes with egg and bacon, while The Porkinator comes with bacon and pulled pork, stacked gleefully on top of a cheeseburger. The Uncle Sam gives diners the best of two cooked meat worlds as a cheeseburger that comes with a hot dog as well.

Off that mention of hots comes the namesake items at University Hots. Hot dogs, or hots, are straightforward with your standard red hot, chili dog, cheese dog, and chili cheese dogs available, but also include a local delicacy known as the White Hot. For those who have never experienced the subtle heat buzz, crisp snap, and plump juiciness of a white hot, the flavor is one of a kind as is the pale white, milky appearance of the brat.

Wraps have also become a popular item at University Hots, with an option on the menu available to turn any item on the menu into a wrap. For those looking for a more guided, traditional wrap, the menu options for wraps include grilled chicken, buffalo or BBQ chicken finger, grilled chicken bacon ranch, steak, cheeseburger, or tuna.

Sandwiches at University Hots are many as well, with selections that are sure to satisfy anyone in a large group. The sweet and tangy flavor of the pulled pork sandwich makes it a great option for someone seeking a savory bite of barbecue, while the buffalo chicken finger satisfies any craving for hot and spicy goodness.

A signature sandwich at University Hots is the chicken primo, which comes with grilled chicken cooked to perfection, mushrooms, onions, bacon, and swiss cheese. The pizza melt, a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with pizza logs and marinara sauce, is a fried food lover’s heaven. The cheesy melt, a grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with mozzarella sticks and marinara sauce, is sure to please too.

Other sandwich options include the tuna melt, egg and cheese, the egg, cheese, and bacon, the mushroom swiss chicken, grilled chicken, steak, BLT, grilled cheese BLT, grilled cheese, and the chicken bacon ranch sandwich.

Sides and appetizers at University Hots go hand in hand and are by and large some of the best fried goodies you can find around the SUNY Geneseo campus. The college staples of mozzarella sticks, pizza logs, mac and cheese, onion rings, and chicken fingers are always available, with University Hots’ chicken fingers coming in large and delectably crispy.

The potato is the vegetable of choice at University Hots with fries, cheese fries, home fries, curly fries, curly cheese fries, chili cheese fries, tater tots, and sweet potato fries all at the top of the side menu. Loaded fries at University Hots come with cheddar cheese sauce, bacon, jalapeños, and onions, while loaded curly fries come with the same arrangement.

The non-potato sides that come standard in the college plate are must-tries and can be easily knocked out in two plates for any foodie bucket listers out there. The macaroni salad at University Hots is sweet, made with elbow mac and just a touch of green onion for that crunchy zing. The baked beans are zesty and filling, with a sweet barbecue finish that leaves the pallet cleansed.

Being a college town specialty restaurant, University Hots is open late, but always opens for the day at eleven in the morning. Sundays they close at ten in the evening, Mondays and Tuesdays, one in the morning. The rest of the week, University Hots is open until three in the morning. During college breaks, University Hots is open eleven in the morning until nine in the evening.

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Professional journalist for over five years, covering topics all up and down both coasts of the United States, including arts, music, food, politics, and culture. I have a B.A. in English from SUNY Fredonia with minors in Psychology and Creative Writing, as well as an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from California State University, Fresno.

Buffalo, NY
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