After much anticipation, Nixta, the Northeast tortilleria and taco stand from Kate and Gustavo Romero, announced it is expanding. Named for the Spanish word gold, Oro will be adjacent to the original shop with about 45 to 50 seats for sit-down dining. Menu details are still tightly under wraps, but the restaurant will be open Wednesday through Saturday for dinner service at first, with hopes to add a brunch menu.
First opened in the summer of 2020, Nixta (1222 NE. 2nd St., Mpls., nixtampls.com) began as a place to buy heirloom corn tortillas with an optional weekend take-and-bake family meal offering. More hours and a taco menu were added and the tortillas soon became available in stores across the metro area, drawing more praise and fans. (The Star Tribune named the tacos the best in the Twin Cities.)
Construction of Oro has been nearly finished for several weeks, but when we recently spoke with Gustavo Romero, he said the permitting process has taken a bit longer than expected. But now we have a name and a promise of more details coming soon.
A sure sign of spring? Ice cream
For anyone else reading weather apps with desperation, hope is on the horizon. The iconic Conny's Creamy Cone (1197 N. Dale St., St. Paul, connyscreamycone.com) has opened for the season. So disregard the fact there is snow in the forecast and not nearly enough 50-degree days — spring has arrived.
Stop by for burgers, hot dogs and a vast variety of cone flavors and ice cream treats daily from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Putting this week's flavored dip (peanut butter) on a twist cone, sitting inside the car with the heat cranked and eyes closed really tight, it might even feel like summer.
Frgmnt coffee shop coming to Open Book
Nothing is better than a new notebook and a fresh cup of exceptional coffee. That pairing is coming next month to Open Book (1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls.) as Frgmnt Coffee continues its expansion plans by opening inside the literary space.
This will be the fourth Frgmnt Coffee location; it joins the original North Loop shop in the Nordic Building and others in Eden Prairie and St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis.
Official Fried Chicken is back with a new way to order
It was the automat that caught Minneapolis' attention with crispy, juicy broasted chicken, and then it suddenly, silently closed. Now, the broasters are back and so is owner Jared Brewington with his Official Fried Chicken. This time, the operations are being run out of the Currie Food Hall (1025 Currie Av., Mpls., curriefoodhall.com), which is more ghost kitchen than gathering space.
Official Fried Chicken is available for delivery though Door Dash and other third-party delivery apps (see the menu at officialfriedchicken.com), or you can order directly through the Currie website and pick up on site.
Ridgedale area could be site for Kris Humphries hot chicken chain
In other hot chicken news, the family business of former Timberwolves player Kris Humphries could be looking at a former Starbucks near Ridgedale as the first Minnesota outpost of Dave's Hot Chicken. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports that the fried chicken chain has filed a permit indicating that MN Chicken LLC is looking to open at 1805 Plymouth Road in Minnetonka.
Dave's Hot Chicken (daveshotchicken.com) is a Los Angeles-based chain. Humphries and his parents earlier announced a franchise deal with the company with the intent of opening 10 restaurants. The family also owns Crisp & Green and Five Guys franchises around the metro area.
Eat Street Social is closing
In case you missed it, after more than a decade of pouring top-shelf drinks, serving up comfort and hosting good times, Eat Street Social (18 W. 26th St., Mpls., eatstreetsocial.com) has announced it will close after service on March 18. When it first opened, Eat Street Social was revolutionary on the local craft cocktail scene and gave us a generation of gifted bar folk. The good news is that the restaurant's sibling, Northeast Social, will remain open.
Another dining room reopens
Fans can once again enjoy the signature, tangy red sauce inside Jakeeno's. The pizza and pasta restaurant (3555 Chicago Av. S., Mpls., jakeenos.com) has reopened its dining room after a yearslong closure.
The family-owned restaurant has been open in this space since 1975 and is now run by sisters Amy and Patty Keegan. The dining room closure was a combination of the pandemic, staffing issues and family illness. Now, the cozy dining room is again serving up square-cut Midwestern style pizzas and all the red-sauce restaurant favorites daily starting at 3 p.m.
In honor of Fool's Spring, 328 Grill hosts a burger cookout
It's time for the second anniversary burger bash at 328 Grill, the restaurant at the American Legion Post 98 in St. Paul Park, on April 1. A collection of mobile eateries, including Angry Line Cook, Peppers & Fries, Station No. 6 and Garillers, will prepare the beefy goods from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in what they hope is a kickoff to spring. The event is free, food is extra. The 328 Grill is at 328 Broadway Av., St. Paul Park, 328grill.com.