Last week I had a quick in and out trip to Pittsburgh and during my visit I was invited to lunch at Tessaro’s in Pittsburgh’s Little Italy section of Bloomfield. Tessaro’s is exactly the type of joint I like to patron; inside the old red-bricked building lies a place that just oozes old school Pittsburgh at its finest. When I walked in, I immediately noticed a mixed crowd of hungry businessmen and firefighters sitting at the counter. Upon entry the sweet aroma of Tessaro’s grill hit my nostrils and I knew that this was wise dining selection for a quick visit to the ‘Burgh. The ambiance is great too – classic checker flooring, wooden booths, and denim table cloths. Clearly a timeless classic restaurant stemming from an era before the chain restaurants took over. One note – please excuse the quality of the photos… I didn’t have my camera with me the day I dined at Tessaro’s.
My dining companion told me that this is one of the best burgers in Pittsburgh. I thought to myself that he made a pretty bold statement but I was up for giving it the Pepsi challenge. As I looked over the menu, my suspicion was confirmed that I would not find any small plates of bruschetta or rabbit food in this place. It’s all typical pub selections on the menu, and they also include some Ribs and Kabob entrees as well. All the burgers are 1/2 pounders, and include a choice of sides – potato salad, cole slaw, home fries, white rice steamed broccoli/cauliflower, boiled red skin potatoes or chips. While I was eager to order, I couldn’t decide if I wanted the Bacon Bleu Cheeseburger or the Gourmet Burger – I decided on the latter: Gourmet Burger, medium, red skin potatoes. ($9.25)
The food arrived about 20 minutes later – the sweet smokey aroma of the burger, the bacon, and the grilled onions hit my olfactory senses like a crashing wave. My mouth began to water. Then like a blitzkrieg I dove into the burger faster than Lindsay Lohan going into the slammer. It was truly sublime. The burger itself seemed bigger than a 1/2 pounder – It was cooked exactly the way I ordered it and maintained its natural juices inside the meat, thus the bottom section of the bun was not a soggy mess. The meat was juicy, lightly seasoned, and the ratio of lean beef to fat was balanced very well. Now, the beef is the star of the show but I would like to give props to the bun. I don’t know where it came from, but it was delicious and the texture was nice and spongy. I suspect Tessaro’s uses a fresh baked bun judging by it’s unique shape and size.
Red skin potatoes fared well – they provide fresh melted butter with them, which is a nice touch. So in the end the verdict on Tessaro’s a positive one. I would classify this place as a burger destination joint if one were visiting Pittsburgh. One piece of advice – come hungry. Tessaro’s burgers are one of the finest burgers I have had anywhere. Period Final.Email This Post