Minneapolis, MN Entertaining Food Challenge

Did you see  “Man vs Food” featured a little while back in Minneapolis,with guest appearance by Minnesota’s own Andrew Zimmern? It’s always great to see celebrities and television coverage in our own great state, but it always seems to come around to Lutefisk at some point, doesn’t it? Minneapolis and the surrounding metro area has a host of fabulous cuisine and eating establishments, and of course, our guests are treated to gelatinous fish. Are you a fan of Lutefisk? Where’s your favorite place to eat that you think really represents Minnesota’s finest foods? One of my favorite restaurants is Thanh Do in St. Louis Park, MN.

Without further ado, here’s the clip. The best line has got to be about the fish tasting like “frozen Vaseline”. You be the judge:

Minnesota Bike to Work Week in May

national bike to work week 2013It may not seem like it, but Spring is right around the corner. The days are getting longer, and little by little the weather a bit milder. As soon as the snow melts people will be out walking, biking, jogging, and finding all kinds of reasons to be outside. Each year Minnesota bike enthusiasts, along with those with goals to improve health and/or environment team up to celebrate Bike to Work Week.

This year, Bike to Work Week is May 13-17, with National Bike to Work Day set for May 17, 2013. So dust off those bike tires, pump them up with air, and plan to participate if you can.For more information on this event and other bike related information in Minnesota, visit MN Bike Trail Navigator.

Don’t work on May 17th? Biking to school, errands or enjoyment on that day is a great idea too!

Let’s Go To The Races in Minnesota

mn racewaysDo you love car racing? Maybe you used to go years ago, but would like to find a place near you to take the kids this summer. Minnesota offers a variety of race tracks and events throughout the state, so there is sure to be something for everyone. This is a site that not only lists many of the race tracks in Minnesota, but also has links to the individual websites for dates, times, events, and directions.

A few upcoming race events this summer:

antique midget race carThe Arlington Raceway Kidz Klub has an Ultimate Kids Night coming up on September 1, 2012.

If you love Hairball, the music craze around Minnesota,  you can take in Racing and a Hairball concert at the Elko Speedway on July 21, 2012.

The Brainerd International Raceway is featuring their 24th Annual Muscle Car Shootout on August 31, 2012.

Where is your favorite place to go to the races? Where did you go as a kid?

Minneapolis – St. Paul, MN Metro Area EZ Pass Rules

ez pass and express lane rules in mnSomeone recently made the news when he used a life-sized doll in his passenger side to appease the Express Lane rules. While carpool drivers and their passengers travel for free, an EZ Pass is required for anyone traveling solo in the Express Lane. The last I checked, all dolls and inadament objects lack a reason to carpool anywhere. This applies to your pets too!

According to the MnPass website,  “Its (EZ Pass) purpose is to maintain traffic flow and alleviate congestion.”

Frequently Asked Questions about the EZ Pass, Express Lanes, and rules are found here.

Do you use the Express Lane? Do you find it helpful? Is your EZ Pass worth the fee? Please leave us your comments.


New Spring Tire Specials

save money on new and used tires, tire specialSave on new and used tires right now at the TireZoo in Bloomington and Anoka, MN!

We have two new specials to help you save money on tires and check your tire maintenance off your spring “to do” list!

Spring Saver Tire Special #1

Save $50 when you buy any set of four new tires! This offer can’t be combined with any other offers or coupons. You must mention this code at the time of purchase: Blog Spring Saver or print off this tire savings flyer and bring with you. Hurry, offer expires May 25, 2012.

Spring Saver Tire Special #2

Save $30 when you buy any set of four used tires! This offer can’t be combined with any other offers or coupons. You must mention this code at the time of purchase: Blog Spring Saver or print off this tire savings flyer and bring with you. Hurry, offer expires May 25, 2012.

Not sure if you need new tires? Stop by either of our locations and we’ll take a look.

Visit the Minnesota Zoo for Free

Tire Zoo


Until Friday, March 16th, you can gain free admission to the Minnesota Zoo when you bring old cell phones to recycle. Not only is the act of recycling cell phones important, but you can enjoy a day of fun the whole family will enjoy.

According to the information provided by the Minnesota Zoo, “One admission per cell phone donation, valid for either child, senior or adult admission. Free admission applies only on the day of your cell phone donation.”

To find out more about this promotion and get all the details, visit the Minnesota Zoo Press Release.

Speaking of zoo’s, do you know how the TireZoo got its name? Find out now!

photo credit: Hugo Quintero

Donating a Vehicle to Charity is a Good Thing

You’ve maybe heard of people donating a vehicle to charity, but many people who might consider this gesture are still left with questions about the logistics of doing so. I know this, because I used to be one of these people until an opportunity presented itself and I dug in to see how I could make this happen.

A few years ago, my husband and I owned a car that we loved. It was our first “new” car purchase together, and it was dependable. It was in great condition, and we had it paid off. Unfortunately, we needed something bigger to accommodate our growing family, and we already had another vehicle. Keeping three vehicles wasn’t practical, so we decided to sell our beloved car or trade it in. Unfortunately, we knew the car was worth more on paper (such as Blue Book) and certainly worth more to a person. We weren’t interested in selling it privately and all that entailed. We discussed what it would take to donate the car to charity, but neither of us really knew much about it. I volunteered to check into it and see where that led us.donating a vehicle to charity in Minnesota, TireZoo

Not long after this, I read something in our church bulletin about donating a vehicle to someone in need. As it turns out, our local Alliance for Victims of Domestic Violence had a young family in need of a car to get to work and take kids to daycare. I made a call inquiring about donating our car and was met with enthusiasm, encouragement, and a helping hand to make it happen. A local agency was interested in helping facilitate the donation. I needed to provide an estimated value of the vehicle as provided by online services like Blue Book. While I don’t think they required me to, I volunteered to have the oil checked, tires checked, and a tune up. I also filled the gas tank as a good gesture, and then let the agency know it was ready. While other vehicle donation programs might operate slightly different, all I needed to do was meet the person at the DMV to sign over the Title Card/Vehicle Registration from my name to hers. That’s all there was to it. I gave up the keys, and received a donation letter for tax purposes in the mail from the facilitating agency. I made sure to discuss the donation and documents with our tax preparer at our next visit.

I’m so glad I was able to donate our car to someone who could use it. The process was simple, and it placed much more practical value on our vehicle than a trade-in scenario would have. I hope this holiday season, or anytime throughout the year that more people will consider this option given the right circumstances. For more information on donating a vehicle in Minnesota, contact your favorite local charity to see if they have an established program and policy. Otherwise, Goodwill of Minnesota has a car donation program, as does Make-A-Wish Minnesota Chapter and Disabled American Veterans of Minnesota.

This is a guest article by Confessions of a Mom, author of other guest posts on the TireZoo blog like,  “How We Survived Our 936 Mile Road Trip”.

Do Tires Make A Good Christmas Gift?

buy tires for gifts at anoka or bloomington, mn locationsGone are the days when you need to feel as though you must conform to strict gift-giving guidelines. Gift cards and technology have really paved the way for people to give new, creative, and often practical holiday gifts. How often have you received a gift that you immediately knew you’d never wear or use, yet it was (hopefully) given with the best intentions. If someone bought you a set of tires for a gift, chances are you’d love it. No doubt they’d get used!

new set of tires make great christmas gift ideasIf a loved one in your life needs tires, what better way to say “I love you, and I care you are safe” than a new set of tires? Go ahead and give a set of tires for Christmas or any upcoming gift-giving occasion. We’re open Monday through Saturday in Anoka and Bloomington, and we’ll help you select a gift that is both practical and appreciated! Our technicians are wonderful personal shoppers when you or someone you love needs tires.

A Kind-Of Funny, But Not Too Funny Winter To-Do List for Minnesota

to do list to prepare for winter in minnesota, funnyWhether you need to buy some items to prepare for winter, or simply gather some things from around your house, this progressive “to do” list will help any Midwesterner get ready for the winter weather on its way.

While this list is meant to be funny, you really do need to make sure your vehicle and tires are in good condition.

What to do first…

Locate a Shovel for when the snow starts to fly. Shoveling seems easy at first; maybe even fun. Eventually shoveling will seem insurmountable and lose its appeal completely.

Get A Snow Blower Tune-Up for when the shovel no longer cuts it.

Buy Heat Additive and/or Block Heaters for those poor vehicles that sit outside and may need a little early morning help.

Find the Bags of Salt to melt snow and ice from sidewalks, parking lots, and driveways thereby hopefully reducing what we’ll call “incidents”.

Window Plastic might not be a bad idea if you have leaky windows, and we get the winter that’s being predicted. You’ll want to seal out old man winter if you can.

Put Out Mouse Traps so that furry friends don’t make it into your boat, camper, or house after they discover such places are warmer than the elements outside.

Snow Tires; Never a bad idea for many people’s vehicles. Call us if you’re wondering if snow tires, aka winter tires, are right for your vehicle.

Tire Chains are necessary for those who pull heavy snow duty, and you know who you are.

Flags for the end of your driveway or edge of your sidewalk so you don’t drive where you shouldn’t once everything is monochromatic.

Buy a New Pair of Gloves, as you’ll only find one from last year. It’s Murphy’s Law.

Pick up Some Hand Warmers, as these work great if you can find a pair of anything to place them in.

Sleds are a must to entertain the kids and get them out of the house on those inevitable snow days off of school. The buses won’t get them to school, but you’ll still have to go to work.

You’ll Need a Windshield Scraper to chisle the snow and ice off your windshield if you had to park outside of the garage due to a pile of sleds and snow gear left in your parking stall. Let’s face it. The less-desirable credit card you’re using to scrape ice really isn’t sufficient if you just admit it.

Assemble a Winter Survival Kit when things don’t go as planned and you need supplies until your ride arrives.

Get a Snow Rake! Do you not remember last winter? Keep snow off your roof and hopefully avoid ice dams.

Find Your Ski Mask so you can simultaneously stay warm, scare the neighbors, and scrape ice dams off your roof.

Put Extra Blankets in Your Vehicle, but don’t buy these. Well, you can if you want, but who doesn’t have a pile in a closet somewhere waiting to be put to good use?  Saving a life in the frigid weather seems to be the best destiny possible for these blankets.

What’s on your list? What would you add to this?

What’s Cool in Anoka, Minnesota in October?

anoka mn halloween parade 2011Anoka Tire, also known as The TireZoo is definitely a cool place to stop for tires in Minnesota, any time of year. In addition to the TireZoo, you may like to know that Anoka hosts one of the largest and most elaborate Halloween festivals in Minnesota. Also referred to as  “Anoka, The Halloween Capital of the World”, this event spans several days and includes such fun activities as a Pumpkin Bowl, Medallion Hunt, Rib Tasting, Carnival, 5Krun, and Grand Costume Parade, and much more.

If you’re looking for one or more days of family fun, Anoka, Minnesota will not dissappoint, starting today, October 19, 2011. Many people turn out for the Grand Parade, scheduled for October 29th this year, and we hope you are able to travel to Anoka, MN and join in the fun!

Read the story “Meaty display wins Anoka Halloween decorating contest” and watch the clip from last year, covered by Kare11 News.

For more information, you can visit Anoka Halloween.com If you want to visit the TireZoo while in Anoka, you can find us here.