Milwaukee food is having something of a moment right now. Long known as a bastion of beer, brats, cheese, starchy sides, and, uh, pretty much nothing else, the city—in line with the national “foodie” surge—has stepped up its culinary presence of late. Beyond the great new restaurants popping up throughout the region on a monthly basis, local restaurateurs are experimenting with interesting new concepts such as Vanguard’s recent Halloween cameo as a Chinese joint called Golden Dragon, Ardent’s “Red Light Ramen” transformation every weekend, and the forthcoming Iron Grate BBQ Company’s earnest attempt to create “Milwaukee Style” barbecue on the city’s south side.

Joining host Tyler Maas at Milwaukee Record HQ and in the excitement regarding the encouraging state of the region’s budding culinary identity were longtime Milwaukee Magazine dining critic Ann Christenson, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee on-air personality and accomplished amateur cook Tarik Moody (who hosts a new weekly segment with Christenson on the station called “This Bites”), and Taste Of Home associate editor (not to mention Milwaukee Record’s resident pumpkin beer aficionado) Rachel Seis. Together they discuss some exciting new developments in local dining, under-sung establishments, annoying fads/terms, and the city’s struggle to change its edible identity while still holding to its celebrated traditions. Tyler also makes a bunch of ramen-related puns that everyone seems to enjoy.

As always, this episode is brought to you by our friends at Ale Asylum, which was enjoyed on air. Music in this episode comes courtesy of Piles (“Blue Glue”) and Old Earth (“Pretty Steep”). Subscribe to On The Record via iTunes or Stitcher (for free!)