Thum blesses Crossroads Collective with Laotian delights

Thum blesses Crossroads Collective with Laotian delights

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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 recent policy change that allows Milwaukee restaurants to offer dine-in service. We also discuss a the new Laotian restaurant at Crossroads Collective, Fauntleroy’s new market and Ann’s cookbook pick of the week, which this week isn’t technically a cookbook. Stream the episode and read about it below.

Last week, Mayor Tom Barrett, out of the blue, told Milwaukee restaurants they could open for indoor service at 25% capacity. The announcement was made just 24 hours before the change, with very little guidance for how restaurants should proceed. And there was a lot of push back from local restaurants. The majority of restaurants Ann spoke to said they were not ready to reopen. Many posted on social media that they did not feel it was safe, and many cited the importance of Black Lives Matter protests. Some felt that the announcement was meant to distract from those protests.

There’s also the question of whether many restaurants can even turn a profit at 25% capacity, especially smaller restaurants.

Thum comes to Crossroads Collective

A colorful dish from Thum |

There’s a new Laotian restaurant that popped up in Crossroads Collective called Thum. It offers food for pickup, and its menu is impressive. Options include crispy Lao eggrolls with pork, cabbage and carrots, served with sweet, tangy dipping sauce; fried chicken wings; sticky rice cakes; papaya salad; marinated beef and chicken and chicken laab. We discuss the distinctive sweet/sour/herbaceous flavor profile of Laotian cuisine.

We’re also excited about this news: Fauntleroy has a market now. It offers specialty goods, including sausages, jams and deserts, and offers 10% off to the service industry. You can even get pottery there. It seems like the market model is becoming more common post-COVID-19, as restaurants pivot to try to survive.

We discuss all that and more on this week’s episode.

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