Restaurants & Real Estate October 4, 2022



  • Dakota County – $382,140
  • Washington County – $451,361
  • Ramsey County – $294,353
  • Anoka County – $365,725
  • Hennepin County – $441,918
  • Carver County – $480,521
  • Scott County – $428,657

*Even with interest rates rising, home values continue to climb.  Ask me if you’d like a free analysis of the current value of your home!


A few simple things you can do to help your home sell faster

  1. Hire a professional real estate agent! I can be a bit biased but agents have avenues to market the property that most can’t or won’t do on their own.
  2. Properly stage your home. Limit the amount of personality like family photos, kids toys, office clutter, etc.  When people tour the home or see pictures they’d prefer to imagine themselves living there, not seeing you live there.
  3. Use a professional photographer! If it’s a $250K listing a professional will make it look like a $2.5 million dollar listing!  FYI, I bring in a photographer for ALL listings at no cost to you!
  4. And of course don’t overprice. Even with the market where it’s at right now, you can’t push the envelope over what the market will bear.  Listen to the advice of your realtor and come up with a list price that will generate multiple offers, which will push that price up anyways.



A little different take this month.  Opposed to focusing on a specific restaurant I’d like to bring some light to a bi-annual MN food related event…RESTAURANT WEEK!  The event was started in 2007 by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine to put focus on the Twin Cities food scene, and gives us all the chance to check out new spots, new chefs, new cuisines, all for a fraction of the normal cost.  All participating restaurants will put together a 3 (sometimes 4) course menu for a set price of low end $25 a person, to high end $45.

Last week was winter restaurant week, and of course we took advantage.  There were 40 participating restaurants this season, which is on par for winter.  Summer week I think it gets closer to 60!  Two spots we’ve always wanted to check out were on the list this year, Nico’s Taco Bar & Lela.

Nico’s Taco & Tequila Bar has two locations, one in uptown on Hennepin, and the other in St. Paul on Como Ave, which is where we ended up.  Both locations have taken over homes that give it a cottage feel.  Inside, very bright and homey.  I was fully expecting to sit down and tear into their taco menu which has 20+ different varieties.  Plenty of staples like carne, barbacoa, carnitas, but also a unique selection I’ve never seen in tacos before like octopus (which I love), scallops, nopales, among others.  That said I have no problem with a couple Restaurant Week specials (3 courses for $25 here) they had with a massive bone in pork shank with a thick red sauce bursting with flavor!  Simone’s stuffed peppers filled with beef, veg, chilies, and pomegranate was a great treat as well.  Killer mixology here too, had some fun cocktails!  Our daughter joined us on this visit and grabbed their margarita flight.  I’ve done a number of flights of all kinds, and typically pours are maybe half of their standard?  They just gave her three of their standard pours!  One traditional, one blood orange, and one with a mix of cilantro and jalapeno.  All very tasty.  We can’t wait to come back here and tear into that taco menu and try some of their tequilas, of which they have MANY!

Next night we braved the weather and headed into Lela in Bloomington, attached to the Sheraton Hotel near Highway 100.  Definitely more of the white table cloth and elegant vibe which we also love, as that means typically a great wine list, and we absolutely found a new favorite here (Chappeellet Mountain Cuvee from 2019)  The Restaurant Week menu here featured a number of their house staples which we devoured!  We went pretty Italian with our choices here sharing a couple small plates of their steamed mussels with chorizo, jalapeno, in a tomato broth (just enough spice, and my new favorite mussel dish in the cities), and their house meatball blended with pork, beef, and veal.  I missed the fact that my entre Bolognese pasta had the same meat blend, but I have no regrets!  I think I even choked up a bit when I finished, it was so good!  And Simone’s roasted chicken with rosemary and thyme was on point!  It was finished with a sticky honey glaze with a touch of heat, so good you can put that on anything!  Finished with a couple perfectly sized deserts that won’t leave you holding your abs on the way home in pain.  For $45 a person on this one, was totally worth it.  We spent more on the wine J

Links below to both stops this month, as well as the link to restaurant week.  Sign up for their email list so you’re in the know when summer week comes around.  It’s really an event we look forward to every year.  We obviously can’t get to every spot on the list, but it gives us plenty of ideas of places to add to our personal list.

Don’t believe me?  Just ask my wife….

(Simone says) I love Restaurant Week! It is a great time to find something new or check a restaurant off our list for a great price.

Nico’s was very charming. They have a decent front patio that we cannot wait to try out when the weather improves. The margaritas were very tasty, but my sangria was not to my liking. The food was good, however I would not recommend the tamales. There was not much meat and a TON of masa that was not seasoned very well. Their ceviche was very good as was their pico de gallo. My pico came with homemade gluten free chips made from their house made tortillas. Something to keep in mind if you have a sensitivity.

Lela was modern and beautiful inside and the food matched! Everything was expertly prepared and beautifully plated. In addition to the dinner options, they have a large small plate menu. When you pair that with their wine list, you have a wonderful date night or girls night opportunity. I cannot wait to go back and share them with Jamie soon.

Nico’s Taco Bar