tete a tete cafes sheepshead bay

Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we’ll check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

This week I decided to tackle the upstairs lounge at Tête-à-Tête Café. Located at the intersection of Sheepshead Bay Road, East 14th Street and Avenue Z, Tête-à-Tête’s first floor offers standard coffee bar creations. Much like a local Starbucks, you’ll find your neighbors slurping down the java and munching on the usual assortments of pastries. But, upstairs in the cafe, you’ll find the real action: a full bar and a full menu featuring gourmet meals, salads, soups, paninis, burgers and desserts.

On our last visit, I enjoyed the 8 ounce stuffed sirloin burger. The stuffed burger comes in two varieties, one stuffed with bacon and cheddar cheese, the other stuffed with portobello mushrooms and Gorgonzola cheese. I chose the portobello burger.

Never had a stuffed burger? Well, you’re missing something. It has many advantages over the traditional burger, on which the fillings are served as toppings. By placing the spices and seasonings inside, they are protected from burning in the high heat. Secondly, many soft cheeses, like Gorgonzola, have a great flavor that pair well with burgers but tend to be too runny when melted on top. Finally, the juices. Salt breaks down cell walls of the meat and allows the juices to exit the cell more easily; letting this process happen on the inside of the burger – where the juices remain trapped – guarantees a juicier burger.

The Stuffed Sirloin Burger arrived on a sesame seed roll, topped with tomato, lettuce and red onion accompanied by seasoned curly fries. It was nicely cooked to a medium well, my personal preference, with just a trace of pink (burgers are cooked to order). This was easily one of the juiciest burgers I’ve ever had in a restaurant. I expected a layer of cheese and a layer of mushrooms in the center of the burger, but the cheese and mushroom pieces were mixed into the ground sirloin which provided an even taste of cheese, meat and mushroom in every bite. The flavors were expertly blended, with no one ingredient dominating.

So, next time you’re craving something a little unusual, but still familiar, check out the Stuffed Sirloin Burger at Tête-à-Tête for $8.95.

Tête-à-Tête Café, 2601 East 14th Street, (718) 676-0783.

Tete.a.Tete on Urbanspoon

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CIXKMWVRUVBKQ4CT75NB5BAEBU Death

    Went in with 4 friends and they told us we have to buy atleast 10 dollars worth of food or we can’t stay….. some didn’t want to spend 10 dollars, so we turned around and left…

    Did they change that stupid rule?

    it was the best Place to drink tea and have pastries in!

    • Granthefotto

      your telling me the five of you did not have 10 bucs?

  • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

    Stuffed burgers are great when done right! I’ll have to check it out! I always just ran in for iced coffee, never bothered to head upstairs.

  • http://twitter.com/nicktherat nick the rat

    yeah, that is a little too pricey for my cheap ass blood, i am sure it is good though. i wish your picture was zoomed out a little bit more so we can see how itty-bitty it is :)

    • Anonymous

      It’s an 8oz burger – believe me – it’s not itty-bitty.

      • http://twitter.com/nicktherat nick the rat

        good deal then. maybe ill try it out soon

      • http://www.flickr.com/knightmare6 Knightmare6

        So it’s like 5-6 ounces after cooking then… Still worth a try!

        • nolastname

          That’s on big bun.

          • Animo916

            Tried the stuffed burger today. I was not impressed. You can get a better tasting, juicier, bigger standard bacon cheeseburger at 3 Star for less money!!!

          • Animo916

            2 bacon cheddar stuffed burgers, one coffee, one hot chocolate, one soda, $34.50. They tack on 18% gratuity also.

          • Anonymous

            Is that with tax and gratuity?

          • nolastname

            Hot dog and soda East 17/Ave Y..
            under 4 bucks. LOL
            Was it worth 18% grateful?

          • nolastname

            PS.. no tip.

  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

    Man, Rob, next time you go do one of these, let me know so I can come with.

  • Ray Johnson

    I had to check the byline on this one, because I was thinking, “Wow. I had no idea Ned knew so much about food.”
    Thanks for the review, Robert!

  • winson

    amazing. i did not know there was a gormet restaurant up there. does anyone have access to the full menu?