Restaurant Review-Tessaro’s (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
Last year on our Burgh Bits and Bites food tour in the Bloomfield neighborhood, our guide touted Tessaro’s as being the BEST place for a burger in Pittsburgh. As burger joints are a fairly common staple in the city, that seemed like a pretty high opinion. We were both anxious to try them out but it took until almost a year later for us to actually get there (we tend to do that a lot, say “oh we should go there” and yet somehow always seem to forget about it). Thankfully, Bloomfield is one of my new favorite hangout spots for food and the week we dined at Tessaro’s marked the third week in a row that we had gone to Bloomfield.
While I am often made fun of for this, we dined at Tessaro’s fairly early on a Saturday evening but having more of an “afternoon” dinner seemed to work in our favor since the place was packed as our meal went on, with there being a wait for tables as well. I’m not sure how large the restaurant was but while we were seated in the front that overlooked bustling Liberty Ave, hostesses kept bringing people towards the back so I assume tables were located there.
We came to Tessaro’s for the burgers but I do want to mention that I was extremely surprised by how expansive the rest of the menu was. As it has a hardwood grill the menu featured everything from kebobs to pork chops to 1/2 bbq chicken to a vast array of sandwiches (chicken, steak based). They even have ribs on Thursday, something we’d both like to try sometime.
They have a total of eight burger sections, all of which are 1/2 pound and cooked to order on their hardwood grill. I went with the ubiquitous cheeseburger for $9.25 (I had my choice of cheese). It was massive and of course I brought some of it home.
D chose the more exciting route and ordered the Cajun Burger (also $9.25) which featured Cajun seasoning and also a choice of cheese. One thing I did appreciate about the menu (this is also found on its website) is that it featured a temperature chart (i.e. deciphering in plain English what rare, medium, medium rare, medium well, and well done mean).
All sandwiches are served with a choice of potato salad, cole slaw, home fries, white rice, broccoli, cauliflower, boiled red skin potatoes, or chips. I opted for the potato salad while D went with the home fries. This was perhaps my only “slight” disappointment of the meal. When eating a burger out, I love fries. The waitress told us they don’t have a deep fryer which is s usually needed when making fries. The potato salad was extremely rich and creamy (a bit too much for my palate) but I had some of D’s home fries and they were delicious.
We also split a bowl of the chili ($5). I’m used to eating chili that is “heavy” in the beans department which this wasn’t but I still liked the taste. It had a nice kick to it and even my somewhat weak stomach was able to stand it.
Tessaro’s has been around for 25 years and between the crowded space on a Saturday afternoon and people waiting to get seated, you can tell it’s a beloved neighborhood spot.