We had heard from various trustworthy sources that Tessaro's is a prime spot to find a deliciously plump and juicy burger, so with high hopes and growling bellies, we ventured to Bloomfield. Upon entering Tessaro's it was easy to see that this is a beloved restaurant with both regulars and first-timers. The woman working the door, whom I assume was the owner, was motherly and attentive. She knew people by name and if she didn't, she pretended she was your best friend anyway. The entryway was extremely tight and we shuffled back-and-forth to allow other diners to leave or arrive, but luckily, we only waited a few minutes before being taken to our table.
I really hate close proximity seating. I try to understand that sometimes, there just isn't enough available space for private tables, but connected booth seating at Tessaro's was out of control. I could have easily reached every item off of our neighbor's tables, which had to be moved in order for any of us to leave or situate ourselves. Due to the closeness of other diners and the general bustle of the restaurant, I only heard about 35 percent of what Boyfriend said throughout dinner.
The decor is a typical family run and influenced setting with paintings of deceased family members and black-and-white photographs. The real "oh, wow..." moment stemmed from the tablecloths... Which were denim. Straight up Levi's Strauss finery. I tried not to judge... But wow. Denim tablecloths. Just...no.
We asked for a drink menu, but there wasn't one. Our server recited the draft list, but when I asked about wine options, she faltered a bit. I settled for whatever Cabernet they had laying around, which unfortunately, tasted like it came from the fine boxed section of the wine and spirits store.
In glancing at the food menu, I saw a variety of bar food, sandwiches and of course, the burgers. Honestly, the burger menu isn't that extensive. It features a classic hamburger, cheese burger, and only a few more original burgers, like the Deli Burger, featuring cole slaw, thousand island dressing and Swiss.
Then I looked at the side options: potato salad, cole slaw, home fries, white rice, broccoli, boiled red skin potatoes or potato chips. No fries?! How can any self-respecting burger joint NOT offer french fries?! After a mild heart attack, I opted for the potato chips to accompany my classic cheddar cheeseburger. Boyfriend selected the Gourmet Burger, which featured bacon, mushrooms, onion, and cheddar.
Surprisingly quickly, our meals arrived to the table.
Gourmet Burger and Home Fries
I stared in sadness at my burger as I realized that what I assumed would be homemade potato chips were, in fact, Lays with Ridges. The pickles were wilted and the bun looked unimpressive. The cheese looked to be more of a Colby than yellow cheddar. Expecting the worst, I took a bite and tasted... A really freaking good burger.
The meat was cooked perfectly medium as I requested, nicely seasoned, and it was so juicy, but not at all greasy. As I assumed, the bun was subpar and soon collapsed from too much juice absorption and I didn't even bother with the chips. Because Boyfriend's burger had so many toppings, the feeble bun collapsed mid-meal and he had to surrender. Like me, he enjoyed the taste and juiciness of his burger and said that the bacon was pretty good. The toppings blended well and lame bun aside, Boyfriend genuinely enjoyed his burger, but wished for a sturdier bun.
The home fries, Boyfriend said, were bland and nothing to write home about, albeit something to blog about. I didn't try my Lays with Ridges because... Let's face it, they were Lays with Ridges and who cares?
We left quickly after our bellies were full and we couldn't stand being so close to other diners any longer. I suffered a close call when a fellow diner wanted to inspect my burger and pointed his dirty old man finger way too close to my meal.
The owner shouted out at us as we left to come back again someday, which we lied that we would. The burgers were good, but Boyfriend and I are not convinced that they're worth claustrophobia-inducing tables, disappointing side dishes, and denim tablecloths.
Tessaro's, I appreciate your juicy meat and your charm, but I beg of you, throw away the Lays, serve some fries, and hang up the Dungarees.