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Nico's Taco & Tequila Bar

The bowl of pozole served at Nico’s Taco and Tequila Bar on Hennepin has tender shreds of pork shoulder, a rich chile-infused broth, and a heap of puffy hominy, and is finished with all kinds of accoutrements: small piles of shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, a few wedges of lime, and dried oregano. The whole steaming bowl, served with a pinto bean and cotija cheese tostada is, at $7, one of the best deals on this restaurant-filled block of Hennepin. Moreover, something about the dish really jives with the inherently homey space that Nico’s now occupies, a building rich in restaurant history. Locals may remember it as Pandora’s Cup, a popular smoke-and-study hub back in the late '90s; then as the well-loved but ultimately ill-fated American bistro the Duplex; and most recently, as Stewart and Heidi Woodman’s short-lived health-centered eatery, Birdhouse. Though the pokey corners and cramped kitchen present somewhat of a challenge to the people who work here, the building's quirks and coziness also make for a unique dining experience.