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Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014

'Food Lovers' Guide to Wisconsin

New book explores some of the area's best places to eat

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What better front cover for Food Lovers’ Guide to Wisconsin: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings than a brimming bowl of mac ’n’ cheese? In their latest book, longtime Shepherd Express writers Martin Hintz and Pam Percy report on their favorite restaurants, specialty grocers, meat and cheese manufacturers and taverns from around the state. They had no trouble finding hundreds of recommendations.

Hintz and Percy are gentlefolk farmers with five acres on the northern rim of metro Milwaukee. Their Food Lovers’ Guide will probably draw complaints from Madison, Ashland and other remote areas for being Milwaukee centric. Well, so be it. Milwaukee is the biggest city in the state and has the most of almost everything. Nevertheless, the Guide travels north to south, from the two Great Lakes to the Big Muddy, in search of good things to eat.

But back to Milwaukee—the only municipality in the Guide boasting separate subchapters for each neighborhood. No doubt everyone will find one of their favorites missing or raise a brow at something that’s included. Yet, Hintz and Percy have compiled an excellent cross-section of where to eat Downtown, in the Central City and Riverwest, in the Third and Fifth Wards and Walker’s Point, on the North and South sides (and nearby suburbs). Their descriptions of restaurants provide essential information and brief, lively, informed descriptions. Also included are vendors such as Usinger’s, The Spice House and Ma Baensch, and overviews of the best hotel restaurants and food trucks.

The Food Lovers’ Guide to Wisconsin is great for tourists as well as longtime residents, who will probably discover something new in their hometown.

Hintz and Percy will discuss the Guide from 4-7 p.m., Jan. 19, at Sugar Maple, 441 E. Lincoln Ave.