There’s a secret steakhouse in the Saint Kate hotel

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week’s episode, we’re discussing the newest restaurant in the arts hotel Saint Kate, and why you probably haven’t heard of it. We’re also talking about a legendary chef who is opening his first restaurant in Chicago, and a new taco joint from the owners of BelAir Cantina coming to Shorewood. Get the scoop below.

The Dark Room | Photo courtesy Saint Kate

Hidden in the Saint Kate hotel is a restaurant called The Dark Room (or TDR for short), a secret steakhouse. They haven’t posted too many photos or said too much about it. It just opened. They do have a menu posted on their website, and it’s standard steakhouse fair, with an eye toward the decadent. They also have dry-aged reserve steaks. If you’re not into steak, they have lobster tail, too, as well as Amish chicken and sweet corn ravioli. Ann gives us all the details.

Then Ann shares some huge new changes coming to Bacchus, which reopens on Sept. 16. And we look at a new tapas restaurant coming to Chicago called Jaleo, which is the product of world-renowned chef Jose Andres, who won a Noble Peace Peace prize for his activism and advocacy. I’ve been to one of his restaurants and it was a remarkable experience.

We also discuss a special pop-up, Fine & Dandy’s Fried Chicken Sunday Supper. And we discuss some Shorewood news, including the North Shore Bank Shorewood Feast this Saturday, which will feature a ton of food.

Also there’s a new taco joint coming to Shorewood. The founders of BelAir Cantina will open HIYA Taco at 4144 N. Oakland Ave. in early 2020. It’ll feature a mix of traditional, breakfast and non-traditional tacos, with at least 14 kinds of tacos on the menu, as well as shareable plates.

And finally, we discuss a paella throwdown called Paella Palooza at Hotel Madrid on Saturday, Oct. 12, and a crawfish boil at Twisted Fisherman on Saturday, Sept. 21, featuring the Extra Crispy Brass Band.

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The temperature is dropping and tea service has returned to the Pfister

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

Ann’s “Ask Ann” column is back in this month’s issue of Milwaukee Magazine, and she’s tackling a big question: What is up with restaurant names? Also we’ve got a bunch of Milwaukee restaurant news to cover: Small Pie is coming to Crossroads Collective, Lazy Susan is doing some cooking classes, and afternoon tea is back at the Pfister Hotel. We talk about all that and more in this week’s episode.

Tea service at the Pfister Hotel | Courtesy Pfister Hotel

Restaurants used to have straightforward names like Charles’ Place or John’s Steakhouse. But you don’t find those kinds of names any more. Now you’re more likely to find a Birch and Butcher or a Glass + Griddle. Ann explains the idea behind names like that, which are meant to be suggestive of a kitchen’s techniques and philosophy.

There’s a new addition coming to the East Side’s Crossroads Collective food hall: Small Pie, the sister bakery to Honeypie in Bay View. They’re open in a few weeks, filling the space that was left behind by Laughing Taco. The addition means that the food hall will once again be at full occupancy.

Speaking of Bay View, that neighborhood’s wonderful restaurant Lazy Susan is hosting cooking classes. They’ll teach people how to make dishes from Europe with a series of monthly cooking classes that start Sept. 10 with Spain.

In case the pumpkin spice lattes didn’t tip you off, fall is around the corner. And in another sign of fall’s return, afternoon tea is returning to the Pfister Hotel. It’s a highly traditional affair, with service provided by an expert tea butler. If you want to feel pampered, this is a great destination. You can also order traditional sandwiches and scones and deserts. It’s also hugely popular: You have to make a reservation. But you also have some time: The tea service runs now through May.

And finally we have some news of another new deep dish pizza place coming to Milwaukee. You can stream this week’s episode below.

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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Celebrating the Best of Milwaukee and saying farewell to closing restaurants

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week’s edition, we’re discussing the new Best of Milwaukee issue of Milwaukee Magazine, and some of Ann’s favorite places to eat. We also discuss some restaurant closings, secret saloons and more. Stream the episode below.

Carnevor, Ann’s pick for best steakhouse | facebook.com/CarnevorMKE

This year Ann decided to offer up her picks if they differed from Milwaukee Magazine readers. Her first pick was steakhouse. Readers opted for 5 O’Clock Steakhouse; Ann argued for Carnevor. It’s not a cheap meal, she concedes, but it’s impossible to have a bad meal there. And then there’s tacos: Readers loved Belair Cantina. Ann opted for Chilango Express. What about sandwich shop? Readers went for Glorioso’s. But Ann makes a case for Boo Boo’s Sandwiches. And if you want to learn Ann’s picks for barbecue, you’ll have to stream the episode.

Kindred on Kinnickinnic Avenue has closed. The restaurant, which opened in 2017, cited a lack of customers. The owners will continue to operate a catering company. Could it be that Bay View is just too saturated with restaurants right now? Dino’s in Riverwest, meanwhile, has closed its doors after 50 years. The beloved Riverwest Italian restaurant said farewell on Wednesday.

Also in this month’s Milwaukee Magazine, Ann writes about secret saloons. She goes beyond the Safe House, looking at Shanghai, a speakeasy connected to crossroads collective. It’s a cool place, dark and otherworldly, and it feels like an homage to the Oriental Theatre. Meanwhile the Third Ward has Bugsy’s, which has been open for six years now. Don’s Diner also has an unusual rec room in its back called the Naughty Angel.

A beloved pizzeria is back. Pepi’s Pizza has returned by popular demand. After years on the South Side, the resurrected pizzeria has planted itself in West Allis. They have some unusual specials, including a seafood special and, ugh, Hawaiian pizza (the pumpkin spice of pizza). But they have traditional Italian dishes, too.

Speaking of West Allis, TomKen’s is expanding. Known for its fried chicken, the restaurant is opening Neighborhood Draft Washington Heights, which will focus on draft beer. And finally, we give an update on an event called FuD Tech, which runs this weekend at State Fair Park.

Stream the episode below.

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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Two of Milwaukee’s finest traditional Thai and Korean meals

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

This week Ann is back after last week’s car emergency, and she’s ready to discuss all things food. We take a look at Char’d’s special Sunday dinners; a diner in the middle of the woods in northwest Wisconsin that serves jerk chicken, and some late-night menu options at a new sushi place called Spicytuna.

A generous platter at Spicytuna | facebook.com/spicytunamilwaukee

Char’d has started a special Sunday dinner where they serve very traditional Korean dishes. They switch up the menu, offering options like dakgalbi (a spicy chicken dish), ojingeo bokkeum (spicy squid) and budae jigae, an army stew.

In the northwoods of Wisconsin there’s a diner called Delta Dinner that serves jerk chicken that people drive hours for. Located along County Highway H in the middle of the Northwoods between Iron River and Ashland, the diner’s Tin Tap House & Chicken Shack serves what regulars swear is some of the best Jamaican food in Wisconsin. We’re intrigued.

And then we marvel at the late-night menu at West Milwaukee’s Spicytuna, which includes options like deep fried Thai chicken wings, grilled squid, tub waan (marinated pork liver), and marinated grilled pork with a spicy tamarind dipping sauce. This is our kind of drunk food.

Stream the episode below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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Movida celebrates five years with sangria, and Mequon hosts a Jewish Food Festival

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites. But this week we’re shaking up that formula.

This is a This Bites first. With Ann out this week, I recruited Radio Milwaukee’s program director Jordan Lee for this edition of This Bites. We discuss a Jewish Food Festival in Mequon, Movida’s fifth anniversary specials and more.

Five sangrias at Movida | facebook.com/movidamke

Before we begin, Jordan shares some of his food traditions and gives a shout out to Leon’s, a quintessential Milwaukee experience. Then we get into it: On Aug. 18 and 19 in Mequon, there will be a Jewish Food Festival, the city’s first ever. Activities include musicians, jugglers, face painting and a petting zoo. Food include pastrami, corned beef, kosher hot dogs, Israeli salad and noodle kugel.

Movida
is celebrating five years. From now until Sunday, Aug. 18, it will be celebrating with a bunch of specials, including some unusual sangrias – including a mango-pineapple slushy sangria.

The Farmhouse is having an authentic mole dinner called Mucho Mole on Aug. 30. Ticket prices includes a mole-lover’s dream meal.

And we close the episode by discussing a food controversy involving deep dish pizza and asking Jordan to share some Kenosha food recommendations.

Stream the episode below.

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.



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Cafe Bavaria will become The Buckatabon

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week’s episode, we share big news about Cafe Bavaria and the Interval, as well as some unusual Miller High Life-themed cocktails. Stream it below.

Cafe Bavaria | facebook.com/cafebavariatosa

Tosa Village’s Cafe Bavaria will close in November. It will then go through the process of being renamed and will open as a new restaurant that will also be run by the Lowlands Group. And this will be a departure from the European approach of the organization’s other restaurants.

The Buckatabon will be focused on Wisconsin, with a Northern Wisconsin supper club feel, although we don’t know the menu yet. It’ll feature Wisconsin beers, Wisconsin spirits and Wisconsin ingredients, something Lowlands Group isn’t known for. The restaurant is shooting for an early 2020 opening.

Then we preview an event that might sell out quick: On Oct. 27, the third MKE Chef Collaboration Dinner will take place at Blues Egg in Shorewood. Ten talented Milwaukee chefs team up for 10 courses. Each course benefits a local non-profit.

And we share some news of a new direction for Interval, a quiet little restaurant operated by the owner of Pilcrow Coffee. It’s been known to serve experimental dishes and unusual pairings. But now it’s going to focus on coffee service, cocktails and pop-up events.

Lost Whale is hosting a class on tequila later this month. It’ll be a hands on class that lets people learn about tequila by tasting it and creating tequila-based cocktails.

Speaking of cocktails, we look at Aperol spritzes. Meet The Spaghett, a mix of Miller High Life and lemon juice. It really doesn’t sound bad!

If you have some free time over the next couple of weeks and you want to experience some amazing food from world-renowned chefs, check out the Chicago Food Bowl. Events include a celebration of Peruvian cooking, a Turkish feast prepared by the chef of one of Istanbul’s most acclaimed restaurants. Then one of my chef crushes, Rosio Sanchez will also be at the Chicago Food Bowl.

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Eating your way through Madison in one day

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week’s edition, we’re discussing Ann’s day trip to Madison to explore its culinary scene as part of the latest issue of Milwaukee Magazine. We also discuss a pork-centric dinner at The Yard, the food at the Urban Island Beach Party, and Merriment Social’s fourth anniversary celebration. Stream the episode below.

Dane County Farmer’s Market | dcfm.org

Madison’s culinary scene is really good, and it’s growing. Plus, because of where Madison is in the state and its proximity to farmers and cheese makers, its restaurants get some great local products that can be difficult to find in Milwaukee.

Ann recommends going early, as early as 7 or 8 a.m., to hit up the Dane County Farmers Market for a light breakfast. It’s filled with produce vendors. From there she recommends the cheesemongers at Fromagination, ice cream at the Babcock Hall Dairy Store, lunch at Graze, salami at Underground Butcher, happy hour at A Pig in a Fur Coat and finally dinner at Forequarter, the restaurant next to Underground Butcher. They have a killer charcuterie board. If that day doesn’t fill you up, nothing will.

If you see a bunch of people headed down to the beach in Hawaiian shirts tonight, it’s probably because of the Urban Island Beach Party, which runs tonight from 5-11 p.m. A ton of breweries and craft distillers will be on hand, so come thirsty. Happy Dough Lucky will be serving mini donuts. Iron Grate BBQ and Pete’s Pops will also be there, along with many of the city’s best food trucks.

Then we discuss Pig & Pinot, a rustic communal dinner in The Yard, which features three pork-centric courses, including a roasted pork shank, all paired with pinot wines. And finally we close the episode by discussing the Mexican Street Party, Merriment Social’s way of celebrating its fourth anniversary.

Stream the episode below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s best happy-hour burgers

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

This week we’re discussing where to get the best happy hour burgers in Milwaukee, the most unique food at German Fest, three restaurants celebrating anniversaries, a new mac and cheese place on Brady Street, and the weirdest food at the Wisconsin State Fair. Stream and read about the episode below.

The Diplomat | facebook.com/thediplomatmke

For Milwaukee Magazine, Ann put four burgers available at happy hours to the test. We’re talking about gourmet burgers. Almost all of these establishments bake their own buns in house. Some of them are grinding the beef for their patties themselves, and making their own pickles or special sauce.

Fauntleroy has been offering a grand royal with cheese. It’s in the spirit of a Big Mac, and a good take. But it’s hard to beat The Diplomat‘s spin on the same idea, which Ann gives an A+. The toasted, buttery bun sets it apart. The beef melts in your mouth. The cheese, sauce and tomato are off-the-charts good.

Merriment Social has been offering a happy hour burger for quite a while, and they switch it up all the time, offering fun, creative toppings. Sometime it’s not even a beef burger. But whatever it is, it’s served on a homemade bun and it’s a great value. Yet Ann prefers a burger that Birch + Butcher is offering during its happy hour. They make their patty with ground sirloin and steak trim. They also have a house-made beet ketchup.

German Fest is this weekend, and it’s a chance to try a bunch of traditional foods that can otherwise be difficult to find in Milwaukee. Ann runs down some of them.

Three restaurants are celebrating anniversaries. The Cheel in Thiensville will celebrate its fifth anniversary on Saturday, July 27. They’ll have live music and events for children, and food including spit-roasted wild boar. Closer to home, DanDan is celebrating three years and Fauntleroy is celebrating one year. DanDan’s anniversary is July 30 and will feature a pig roast. Fauntleroy‘s anniversary is the day after, and will run from 4-7 p.m. and will offer diners a complementary trout dish and a glass of champagne.

Then we run down the menu at a new theater offering some surprisingly gourmet offerings, and discuss a new spot on Brady Street opening Sept. 1. It promises to serve 10 oven-fried mac and cheese dishes, with five types of noodles and a gluten-free option. It’ll be called the Mac Shack. And finally the Wisconsin State Fair is just around the corner. We discuss some of its new food options, which include something horrifying called Breakfast on a Stick.

Stream the episode below.

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Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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Festa Italiana celebrates Joe Bartolotta, and Milwaukee restaurants embrace all things crab

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week’s edition, we’re previewing Festa Italiana, examining Chicago’s take on a traditional Wisconsin supper club, discussing a new pizza place on Mitchell Street, sharing news of a new crab joint and looking at a new snack bar in Washington Heights. Stream the episode below.

Festa Italiana’s crab-eating contest | facebook.com/festaitalianamilwaukee

One of the city’s most popular ethnic festivals, Festa Italiana will feature a few new vendors this year, as well as cooking demonstrations, a cannoli eating contest and a kid’s pizza-making contest. This year’s fest will also feature a tribute to Joe Bartolotta.

Then we look at Chicago’s misguided stab at a supper club: St. Clair Supper Club, which charges an exorbitant amount for a fish fry ($44). But beyond the price, the menu has some nice nods to traditional Wisconsin supper club staples.

Tony’s Pizza is coming to Mitchell Street (604 W. Historic Mitchell St.), which promises pizza with a Latin touch. Expect ingredients like beans, cilantro and habanero peppers, as well as traditional pizzas, and hamburgers. It’s aiming for an early August opening.

Crabs are officially hot right now. Oak + Oyster, 724 N. Milwaukee St., is now hosting a pop-up concept called Pistol Pete’s Crab Shack. The menu features a New Orleans flair. Boiled, pickled peanuts, anybody? And in other crab news, Crab It Your Way has opened at 823 N. 2nd St. They’re describing the menu as Louisiana-style food with a Midwestern twist.

And finally, an intimate new bar called Charles E. Fromage has opened in Washington Heights at 5811 W. Vliet St. The menu features snacks like olive salad and five-cheese spread, as well as a variety of Wisconsin beers and a rotating wine list. There will also be locally made sodas.

Stream the episode below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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The best bites at Bastille Days, and a festival for sangria fanatics

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Each week on Radio Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine’s resident foodie Tarik Moody discuss Milwaukee’s culinary and restaurant culture on This Bites.

On this week’s edition of This Bites, we talk about a French festival (Bastille Days) and a Spanish one (Sangria Fest). Plus there’s news of a new diner coming to Riverwest. Stream the episode and read about it below.

Bastille Days | easttown.com

Bastille Days is back, marking summer’s halfway point. And we’ll admit it: Not all the food at Bastille Days is authentically French, but there are quite a few French specialties there if you’re in the mood for them. Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro offering beef bourguignon and crème brulee. Birch + Butcher is there, too, offering a French spin on a fried chicken sandwich. Lagniappe Brasserie is featuring escargot and a free range lamb sandwich. Le Reve Patisserie will be offering croissants, baguettes, sandwiches and warm brie with honey. And the North Shore Boulangerie will be offering tarte flambé.

Ann also highlights some of the non-French offerings on the menu, including a pastrami and pickled peach sandwich and, of course, Saz’s combo platters.

Hosted by Hotel Madrid, Sangria Fest will be held from 2-6 p.m. this Sunday, and as you’d expect, it will feature lots of sangria. The event brings together mixologists from a variety of cocktail bars, who will offer seven different sangrias to sample. There will be snacks and food, too, as well as a live DJ.

In other exciting news, Diplomat is now serving lunch. Starting this Monday, the Brady Street restaurant will serve lunch with options including the Diplomat burger, a ribeye sandwich and a Caesar salad.

And Riverwest is getting a new restaurant, which isn’t something we get to report as often as we’d like. We don’t know much (including the name of the restaurant or the date it will open), but we know that it’s a diner where the West Bank Cafe used to be and the owners of Art Bar are involved. Maybe Riverwest will get its own poke restaurant now, too.

Stream the episode below.

Like what you hear? Subscribe!

Get all of 88Nine’s podcasts delivered right to you weekly at RadioMilwaukee.org/Podcasts. We’ve got podcasts about music, food and film, with fresh episodes dropping every week! And don’t forget to check out our new podcast “Backspin: The Search for Milwaukee’s First Hip-Hop Song,” a six-part exploration of the birth of Milwaukee rap. All episodes are streaming now.

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