Disappointingly enough, Mystic Pizza -- neither the Julia Roberts movie nor the Connecticut restaurant -- has nothing to do with magic, but Burger Bar 57 in Pelham has a psychic-in-residence once a week, making it a distinct possibility that you could have a psychic burger and fries.
Most people stop in the Fifth Ave restaurant for a great meal, even a drink or two. But if you're looking for a different side order or food for thought, stop by one Monday evening for an interesting half-hour conversation.
Self-described medium and spirit channeler Francine Tesler- who calls herself "a psychic for people who don't usually go to psychics"-is at the restaurant weekly offering customers something very different to chew on at the Pelham hang-out.
The idea to do readings in a restaurant was one that clicked with Burger 57 manager Sherri Gallina, who sat nearby during my conversation with Francine.
Gallina said she met Tesler at another restaurant and thought having her at Burger Bar 57 would be a great idea to bring in customers and get people talking.
Tesler has a deck of tarot cards on the table in front of her, but she says doesn't need them. As I ask her questions, she tells me bits and pieces of things she 'sees' about me.
Some of the things she says are very accurate, some are very broad. She tells me about specific medical concerns I should check- and is spot on about at least one. Another insight she shares about a relative is not accurate at all.
As I continue to interview her, Tesler says some things that are on point, but others that are way off. Some things I don't like, other things I'd like to believe. All of it is intriguing.
Tesler does private readings, but says she doesn't encourage people to base their decisions on readings or become what she calls "psychic junkies." She won't have readings with someone more frequently than three months apart, calling it "unethical."
Whether you 'believe' in such abilities or not, Tesler reminds me that the State of New York requires her to mention it is "for entertainment purposes only," there is no doubt that our conversation is fascinating and compelling.
Tesler also does restaurant readings in Elmsford, Katonah, Mahopac, Yorktown and Pleasantville -where she lives- on other days of the week. But Mondays are for Pelham and Burger 57.
Doing the restaurant readings is her way of making what she does more accessible to people.
A lot of Tesler's restaurant readings are with people who usually wouldn't make an appointment with a medium but are curious to find out what they are about.
"They figure they have nothing to lose," she said of the casual conversation and good food atmosphere.
Over an appetizer or entree, Tesler shares her insights with the curious, skeptic and believers alike.
She bristles at caricaturing what she does. "It's not magic," Tesler said. "It's an ability." One that she says she's used full time for more than 27 years to help other people.
Tesler described her abilities. "I see images, slideshow images like in a dream," she said. "Sometimes it's symbolic and other times it's things." Tesler said what she experiences is "like a child's daydream" that she then interprets.