ami Lax, owner of Harvest and The Old Fashioned restaurants, put the question to us recently in a way that left no confusion about her motivation. “Have you been to Batch yet? They’re kind of short on parking, but with that kind of bakery I’m willing to walk.”

Batch is a bakery, and a good one. Parking is a detail attributable to the shop’s location—on Williamson Street, at the corner of Willy and Cantwell to be exact. That’s Williamson Street in the heart of Madison’s near-east side. Willy Street—funky, hip, eclectic, one-of-a-kind Willy Street—and currently, with the recent opening of Batch, and the relocation of Madison Sourdough, the most exciting place in the city to get really good bakery.