Who’s Excited for the German-style Holiday Market in Minneapolis? THIS GUY!!!

I went to a very mediocre college.  But I still managed some lifelong benefits and memories from that time. The best part was meeting some of the amazing people I met, especially my wife!  And the second best part was a semester in London.

At the end of the semester I took two weeks to backpack around Europe with some of my classmates.  It was early December and I was homesick.  Every German city, large or small, that we visited had a Christmas Market set up in the town square.  The old town squares were ridiculously charming with ornate facades of buildings and cathedrals older than our country creating backdrops for open and car free squares. The markets were filled with stands selling unique ornaments that looked just like the ones on my family’s tree at home, candied nuts roasting that smelled just like Christmas at home, and faces that looked so familiar.  Everyone in Bavaria looked like they were related to me and I kepts seeing my family’s surnames Rockers and Mueller everywhere.

It was cold outside, but the lights were warm and the heat coming off the cauldron of mulled wine kept the vendors fingers warm.  In that vulnerable state of missing home, plus being poor, hungry, and cold, those Christmas markets were magical.

Ever since, I have longed to return or for the markets to be recreated in my hometown.  18 years later and my wish is granted!  And even better, I have two young children to share it with. Reliving the magic of holidays through your children’s eyes is probably the biggest selling point to this whole parenthood thing.  I can’t wait!  Plus, now I’m not a starving college student and can actually afford to buy some of the spiced nuts and mulled wine.

See you there:

Minneapolis Holiday Market

Holidazzle Village

Juicy Lucy verses Jucy Lucy: A Winner?

Foodwars_ep_minneapolis_228x128

The results are in.  Travel Channel's new show:  Food Wars debuted its Minneapolis episode last night.  The 5-8 Club's Juicy Lucy verses Matt's Bar's Jucy Lucy.  In a close contest, Ragnar cast the deciding vote for Matt's Bar's Jucy Lucy.  I don't think this national exposure and blind taste test will change the minds of any die hard fans, but I'm sure it will bring even more masses from around the cities to test for themselves. 

What's your favorite?  Why?

Better yet…when those not familiar with our neighborhood come to try the burgers, what other local must sees and must eats should they experience?

You know my vote:  A Baker's Wife.  Anyone else have any suggestions for those traveling to the area?

Three Cheers for 3 Tiers!

This would be the obvious headline.  But the jury is still out on 3 Tiers

I made a stop in the new East Nokomis bakery and bought a half dozen treats to share and try. The most impressive thing I had was a mini key-lime pie tart with three fresh raspberries on top.  Tasty combination.  The key lime was especially tart, and the raspberries were especially sweet.  The least impressive was the lemon bar.  It tasted like sugar more than lemon. 

I really want them to succeed and offer another treat for those of us in East Nokomis, and another reason for people to travel to this side of the lake.  The atmosphere was lovely.  Crisp, clean, minimalist.  The sharp edges on the perfect shaped cakes assured you that the decor was intentionally sparse, and not just "yet to be determined."  And there were many treats yet to try.  The sign reads, Cakes, Truffles, and Tortes, and I did not try any cakes or truffles.

Any one else have an experience to share?

New Look, New Dog, New Pizza…same old weather (includes Pizza Joe’s review)

A week of change!  We've been working on updating the look of this site and went live with it on Sunday night.  Here it is!  You're looking at it.  It's not perfect, but I think that's okay considering that we help people buy and sell houses for a living, not design websites!  Let us know what you think.  Like it? See a glaring error?  Tell us that too!

Second, my family and I adopted a new dog on Sunday.  He was formerly known as Chevy Chase, but we have fittingly renamed him Clark W. Griswold.  He's a ~7 month border collie/lab mix.


Clark W. Griswold
Clark W. Griswold 2

He is very exited to meet all his neighbors around Lake Nokomis and the Minnehaha Dog Park.

And lastly, news for everyone in the East Nokomis area.  I tried our new pizza joint last night.  Pizza Joe's moved in to the space formerly occupied by Ginelli's.  Ginelli's was a favorite of my neighbors and mine.  Would Pizza Joe's successfully replace it?

Well so far so good.  We tried to order on their website and ran into some errors.  When we called to follow up, they were unbelievably nice.  The manager was clearly excited at a chance to make some new customers.  We ordered two pizzas:  a build your own with peppers, onions, and mushrooms, and a sausage.  We had our choice of three different crusts and went with the "hand tossed."  Both pies were well received.  The sauce was good, the toppings fresh, the cheese gooey, and I heard from the others that the sausage was good. 

Was it as good as the late great Ginelli's?  Well…no.  But it was better than any of the chains for sure.  It held up well against the local joints too. I like the choices and flavor of Parkway Pizza better, but their bitter crust cannot be eaten alone and you end up with a plate of "pizza bones."  And Pizza Joe's was cheaper!  I'm not a huge fan of Joey D's..err…I mean Chris and Rob's pizza, but I know that others are.  I guess I could see myself order from any of the them depending on what I'm in the mood for and what crowd I'm feeding.

Welcome to the neighborhood Pizza Joe's!

Best Halloween Display in Minneapolis!

If you live in the Ericsson neighborhood, you've probably already discovered Polly and Gregg Hanson's annual Halloween display.  They (okay, mostly just Polly) have been growing and improving their "graveyard," as Polly calls it, for 10 years.

As the owner of Virginia Rose Estate Sales, the Hansons are in the perfect business for finding odd and discarded pieces add to the scenery.  Polly says that she tries to avoid store bought items, although with their reputation they often recieve gifts that do have commercial origins.  The hard work and commitment to producing something orginal that you can't simply buy at Menard's really shows.  Go check it out before the spooky season is over! 

The home is located at 4228 30th Ave S.  Enjoy the pictures:

      From street  

Big picture  Skelly 

 Mummy  Al frankenstein  Side of house