The Commissary: Head East
Tisane Café ( Hartford, Connecticut)
Searching for a worthy plate of nachos in restaurantland is like trying to find a pair of no-show socks that don’t creep up around your toes immediately after putting them on, causing more frustration and anguish than the final season of “Game of Thrones.”
Fortunately, all is not lost.
Tisane, a Euro-Asian café located on Farmington Avenue in Hartford, is a lifeboat in a sea of same old, same old taco chips.
Sure, they don’t sell socks, but they get a pass considering they’re a restaurant, not Nordstrom Rack.
And there’s just so much goodness to be had there, including a fully welcoming atmosphere, as well as offering a diverse menu with eats ranging from Tuna Niçoise Salad to Tom Kha Soup, and after-dark events including boys nights and diva karaoke.
Plenty of folks pop in and out just to order a tea-to-go since tea is a major part of their gig, as if the name doesn’t already make that clear.
For the uninitiated, “Tisane,” is an herbal tea, or “an infusion (as of dried herbs) used a beverage,” at least according to Merriam-Webster anyway.
And there’s plen-tea of options to choose from (note: genius pun right there).
There are Mate teas, Rooibos teas, medicinals, Pu-Erh, Oolongs, fruit blends, herbal blends, whites, greens, blacks, so, yeah, easily a bazillion to choose from. So when you go, make sure to give one a try.
Tisane also offers a seriously extensive drink menu with tongue-in-cheek names and descriptions, making it clear that when you order a cocktail you best have a sense of humor or don’t bother.
And why not? Drinks should be fun because, like, isn’t that the point? And at Tisane they certainly are.
The Sexy Lexi, Purple Haze, Black Sheep Manhattan, Slutty Bloody, Nerds in Heat, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Your MOM (because who doesn’t love their mom?!) are just a few.
With drinks come appetizers, which is how we arrive at nachos, even if it was like taking a road trip with your grandma to get there.
Among the list of starters, including Korean Pork Sliders and a trio of chicken wings tossed in General Tso’s, honey Siracha, and hoisin buffalo sauces (yes, please), is Tisane’s Far East Nachos.
Forsaking boring, run-of-the-mill Tostitos in favor of crispy wontons is a sheer stroke of brilliance, especially when the next step is to pile house-roasted pork, mango salsa, onions, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, and melted pepper jack cheese all over them like some sort of naughty culinary orgy.
The combo is divine and will likely wreck any future nacho-themed appetizers for the rest of all time.
Your only mission, should you choose to accept it, is to ensure that every wonton has a fair and balanced assortment of the goods on top before scooping it into your waiting mouth.
You won’t be sorry, especially when enjoyed with Your Mom – the drink or relative – your choice.
If you’re still jonesing for a main dish after the nachos, the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is a solid option.
Gluten-free, Keto-Diet, vegetarian calorie-counters can skip ahead, this isn’t for you.
For everyone else, the Buffalo Chicken sandwich features crispy buttermilk chicken on rustic bread, topped with a house-made blue cheese aioli, and served up with fries also topped with blue cheese.
Sure, it’s like mainlining cholesterol, but arguably worth it and certainly better than discovering Bran is king.
Oops, sorry. Was that a spoiler?
Tisane Euro-Asian Café is located at 537 Farmington Ave., Hartford. For more information: https://mytisane.com.