Restaurant Review: The Pritchard

Snuggled in the heart of the Plaza District, The Pritchard unifies upscale and casual to create a concept with delicious craft cocktails, wines from all over the world, and locally-sourced dishes being served for dinner, late night and brunch. 

The moment you walk in you can't help but be grabbed by the thoughtfully curated decor and ambience of the space. The well stocked bar is paired with marble countertops, adorable bar stools (that I want to steal for my own home) and an epic gallery wall at the focal point. Across the way a deep green tufted velvet booth runs from the front to the back of the restaurant. They really took the time with the design of the space and it doesn't go unnoticed. I'm a sucker for restaurant ambience and they do it well. 

I came for brunch last Sunday and could not wait to write this post to tell you all about it. Everything from the service, to the food, to being able to doodle on the table had me swooning. 

The Pritchard is open Tues-Sun. During the week they focus on dinner, but add in brunch starting at 10 a.m on Saturday and Sunday. 

The whole menu is set up tapas/small plate style. When I heard this I was slightly skeptical because I'm not usually a fan of this set up. In my past tapas experience things get expensive quick and it's always hard to guage how much to order for whatever size group. I'm not sure how they do it, but The Pritchard just makes it work. 

I arrived Sunday morning ready to put their menu to the test. It is split up into brunch small plates, charcuterie, cheeses and proteins. Our waiter did an excellent job helping describe the menu as well as guide us on what and how many of each to order. We wanted all the brunch food so we stuck to the small plates column. I can't wait to come back for the cheese and charcuterie! 

After gazing the menu we settled on four plates for the two of us to share. That was easily the Johnny Cakes, Spanish Baked Egg, Popcorn Grits and Fruit Plate. The Johnny Cakes were unreal and a must order if you go for brunch. The plate comes with three cornmeal cakes, topped with homemade hazelnut spread, bananas and chopped hazelnuts. The cakes were thin yet fluffy and the hazelnut spread. I can't even. Think Nutella minus the chocolate, but better!

The popcorn grits shown above got the award for "favorite thing we ordered." There is no popcorn in the grits, but the name comes from the way they prepare the corn to become grits. They are cooked up with some pancetta inside and big shavings of grana padano on top, very similar to parmesan. People are skeptics of grits, but I grew up eating them on the reg, so I will always love them in any form.

The Spanish Baked Egg is a tomato ragu made of tomatoes, onions and spices topped with an egg. They use a unique method for cooking the egg that was new to me, but explained as very similar to a poached egg. This dish was great, it really was but everything else upstaged it a bit.

We were feeling great about what and how much we ordered, but head chef Shelby Sieg, sent out a few complimentary dishes she didn't want us to miss. Thank you Shelby!! We willing unbuttoned our top buttons to make room for her delicious concoctions. First up the Fried Chicken Biscuits with housemade pickle and hot sauce. The biscuits were fluffy yet crispy, just how they should be.

She also brought out their brussels sprouts with spanish chorizo. Simply roasted but paired with salty chorizo. They were a good offset to the grits, Johnny Cakes and biscuits!

Now who wants to go back with me for brunch round two? I have to get back to try their delicata squash, housemade kolaches and cocktails. Follow The Pritchard on instagram and bookmark them on Yelp, where you can also read another version of this review.

Annie

Let's work together! I'd love to review your restaurant. Email me annie@takeabiteblog.com so we can chat!
*Disclaimer: This is not a paid promoted post but I was partially paid in kind for compensation.

Bites of My Life

January is coming to an end and so is Whole 30. It has felt long, but also an extremely short 30 days. I'm ready for February. Another new beginning. I've grown up a traditionalist and liked things kept the same, but as I get older I always feel so refreshed with new weeks, new years, new months, new beginnings. Do you dread the start of a new week or month, or feel encouraged by the difference it brings?

-Made my first sweet potato toast and O.M.G. Jill Bauer said just this morning on the Today Show that it is the new avocado toast! Just thinly slice your raw sweet potato lengthwise, run it through the toaster twice, then top with desired toppings!
-I'm slightly obsessed with this recipe and want you all to make it. I posted this Crock-Pot Curry Chicken over Cauliflower Rice last week and you just haaaaave to have it. 
-I finally got some Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides after seeing it go viral on instagram. Collagen is essential in everyday health, but you can read more specifics here. VP powder dissolves into virtually anything. Put it in your morning coffee, tea, smoothie, soup etc.
-Banana and almond butter is my favorite Whole 30 breakfast. It tastes so indulgent to me for some reason. A pretty presentation helps to! Just split your banana lengthwise, spread with AB, sprinkle with cinnamon and an optional drizzle of tahini.
-Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup was lunch everyday last week. The recipe is posted so you can enjoy it too!
-I shared my step by step tips on how to make perfect fried eggs in a cast iron skillet in my insta stories on Thursday. Missed it? Leave a comment and I'll give you the run down. I then topped them with the goods: maldon salt, sumac and turmeric.
-Woke up Sunday to then enjoy the most delicious brunch at recently opened, The Pritchard. A full restaurant review will be coming later this week!
-StudioHop gives you access to a curated list of local fitness studios so you can enjoy one membership at multiple studios. They started in Dallas and are now coming to OKC! I'm so excited to help share the news! The fun starts 2/6, but sign up for their newsletter here (scroll to the bottom) so you can be the first to know more. Now #hoptoit!
-In this final weekend of Whole 30, my non W30 cravings were strong. I wanted pizza and chips and dips so hard. I attempted to fullfill the cravings with veggie chips and compliant salsa. Along with plantain chips and guacamole and copious amounts of cashew butter...

Annie

Bites About Town: Best Matcha Latte in OKC

I've been preaching to the matcha choir lately, but if you haven't tried it yet I urge you to! Matcha is green tea leaves made into a powder giving you the purest form of it's nutrients. I had my first matcha latte about two years ago, but have just recently gotten boarder line addicted to them. They have an energy boost for those who are looking to weed off of coffee, but nothing too strong to make you jittery if you can't handle the caffeine like me.

If you are a matcha lover or a matcha newbie this post is still for you. I fed my addiction and went on a quest about town to find the best matcha latte in OKC. All contenders have something special about them, but I kept pretty honest about my opinions on each. They are ranked on a scale of 1-5, all ordered with almond milk and all ordered hot as compared to iced to keep it consistent. 

Evoke
Matcha: Woodshed Tea Matcha Latte Mix (comes pre-sweetened)
Things to note: They offer Skim, Whole, Almond and Soy milk. They use a matcha mix that comes pre-sweetened. It's not too sweet though. Can't be unsweetened. 
Verdict: 5, Go Evoke! Their matcha is so creamy dreamy I catch myself daydreaming about it. Combined with velvety steamed almond milk they win! 

All About Cha
Matcha: Not sure :/ Sorry!
Things to note: They offer two sizes either love or passion, it is ordered as a "green tea latte" instead of matcha. They also offer a cappuccino, con panna, macchiato and freddo version. Milks include skim, 2%, whole, soy and almond.  You can get it sweetened or unsweetened. 
Verdict: 5, All About Cha ties! They were my first taste at a Matcha Latte and still one of my favorites.

Clarity Coffee
Matcha: Woodshed Tea Matcha Latte Mix (comes pre-sweetened)
Things to note: They offer a wide variety of milks like hemp, coconut, and almond. They use the same matcha mix as Evoke. 
Verdict: 2. Matcha lattes are hard to make. I've tried several times at home. I think it takes a fairly skilled person to make a matcha latte. That being said, I'm not sure if it was the barista to blame or if they just don't have it down yet, but it was not good. There was no flavor and it was full of chunks of matcha. No one wants a chunky latte. I'm open to trying it again seeing as though they use the same tea mix as Evoke and I love Evoke's, but I was pretty turned off by the first time. Bonus points for looking so pretty!

Urban Teahouse
Matcha: Their own matcha powder
Things to note: Kristy, the owner, is a tea genius and is there to answer any questions you may have. This is a good place to start if you are new to matcha. She allows you to customize your sweetener and level of sweetness (1-3). She also has a collection of milks, including some local options. With this spot being a "teahouse" you are getting a very well crafted tea beverage by someone who knows what they are doing. Only comes in to-go cups. They also offer a killer matcha lemonade!
Verdict: 4. I'm still playing around with my level of sweetness. I've varied between a level 1-2 using raw sugar. This latte has a more raw matcha taste. It's the purest matcha I've tasted. 

Leaf + Bean
Matcha: Urban Teahouse matcha powder
Things to note: The time I went in they did not ask me if I wanted it sweetened or unsweetened. It had no flavor and tasted like raw powder. 
Verdict: 2. Piggy backing off my experience at Clarity, it very well could have been the barista making my drink the day I went it, but again, it was just bad. No flavor. It definitely needed a little sweetener, but that option wasn't given to me. The foamy texture was good but the flavor was not there. 

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Woodshed Coffee + Tea
Matcha: Woodshed Matcha Latte Mix
Things to note: Woodshed started as a shelf product, but they then moved to open a brick - and - mortar. I mentioned before that Evoke and Clarity use Woodshed’s latte mix. It is pre-sweetend, but gosh it’s good. I prefer my matcha latte hot, but Woodshed also offers a matcha cold brew that is crazy good. They steep matcha powder in their house made oatmik over night then bottle it and serve it cold. Hot or cold make sure to order with their oatmilk.
Verdict: 4. The house made almond milk makes this so unique.

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Stella Nova
Matcha: unsure
Things to note: Stella Nova is very similar to a Starbucks, but better. It’s cleaner, staff is nicer and the chairs are more comfortable. They refer to their matcha as a Green Tea Latte, but they have assured me their matcha powder does not contain sugar, unlike Starbucks. I get mine with almond milk, and at SN they use a vanilla almond milk. While this probably adds some extra sugar, I make sure to order mine unsweetened/without syrup so I don’t feel so bad about it.
Verdict: 5. I love this drink. The vanilla almond milk steams so nicely and makes for a super creamy and not bitter drink.

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Stitch
Matcha: unsure
Things to note: Stitch has the best vibes, they could serve me anything and I would think it was good. I love this matcha because of how perfectly they steam their milk. It is slightly bitter, but I order mine unsweetened. For a sugar free latte this one is a good one.
Verdict: 4.

a homemade matcha is always a favorite too! I use  Vital Proteins Matcha collagen  blended with coconut butter, vanilla, cinnamon and hot water

a homemade matcha is always a favorite too! I use Vital Proteins Matcha collagen blended with coconut butter, vanilla, cinnamon and hot water

**UPDATE - This may be surprising but my vote for Best Matcha in OKC goes to Stella Nova. The matcha is smooth and not incredibly bitter and the way they combine it with a vanilla almond milk makes for a sinfully tasting matcha that is so creamy and flavorful without being too sweet. {So there you have it. In my opinion you can find the best matcha latte at Evoke and All About Cha! Have a different opinion or a matcha I need to try? Let me know in the comments. - originally posted 9/14/16}

What other best bites should I go on the hunt for? Best pizza in OKC, best cookie, best breakfast dish? Let me know what "bite about town" you want to see next!

Annie

J.R. Designs + Giveaway

I've think I've mentioned before how I'm not a huge jewelry person. Not because I don't want to be, I'm just worlds worst at buying jewelry. My mom and sister on the other hand; the best. I think I've asked Kathleen to buy me jewelry for the last several holidays and birthdays. Outside of my everyday pearl studs, watch and tiny gold rings, I rarely stray away. I've been pushing my limits recently and totally jumped on the tassel earring game (way out of my comfort zone). I now have a new jewelry brand that is getting me away from my everyday teeny cross necklace.

I'm so excited to share J.R. Designs with you today. These chic and stylish necklaces are perfect for any outfit, occasion, day or night. I've been throwing mine on with basically everything. Look at me go wearing big jewelry (small applause)!!!

Jordan Richardson, the master designer behind these creations, grew up in OKC and attends SMU for college. I got to meet Jordan last week to chat about her business and all things necklaces.

Jordan started J.R. Designs about a year ago right after she started her freshman year at Southern Methodist University. How she balanced a new business and school is beyond me, but bravo to you girlfriend! After coveting similar necklaces in high end boutiques, Jordan looked past their high end price tags and went to making her own version. 

She didn't start with the intention of it becoming a business, but after wearing her first necklace around campus, girls were flocking toward her design asking for their own. The business formed right in front of her and she ran with it!   

Jordan now makes necklaces in all different shapes, sizes and designs. She is locally based in OKC and Dallas but ships nationwide. The best part of J.R. Designs is the price. The whole reason she started was to avoid dropping $150+ on a necklace, so you can find all of her pieces typically under $50. Music to my ears!!

Now for the part that is probably music to your ears. Jordan was sweet enough to give away one of her unique designs to one lucky Take A Bite reader! Head over to my Instagram to see how to enter!

If you are located in OKC make sure you stop into Gretta Sloane this Thursday, July 21st for a J.R. Designs Trunk Show! Jordan will be selling a slew of necklaces that you won't want to miss. Open from 10am-7pm on Thursday, Gretta will be celebrating their anniversary with food trucks, sales and of course, J.R. Designs!

And now to get to know Jordan and J.R. Designs a little better...

A: How did J.R. Designs get started? Give me some background on your biz?
JR: I started J.R. Designs my first semester of my freshman year at SMU. Because we don't rush at SMU until second semester, I needed a hobby to keep me busy. I have always loved these kinds of necklaces but they were well out of my price range. I searched on Etsy for fun, beaded necklaces but could never find exactly what I wanted. Therefore, I got creative and made my own (the first one being in SMU colors, of course). I wore it to a Boulevard (our version of a tailgate) and received lots of compliments and so many people asking me where I bought it. From there, a business was born! 

I wanted to start selling these necklaces at affordable prices to girls around my age. I originally imagined mostly college girls buying my necklaces, but now my audience includes not only them, but also lots of younger and older girls. People ask me why I don't raise the price of my necklaces, but that is not the reason I make them. By raising the prices, I lose my target audience. My goal was to sell affordable jewelry for people who don't necessarily want to pay $100+ for fashion jewelry, and that is just what I am doing. I love being able to sell people necklaces that they may not have been able to afford otherwise. The best part is hearing feedback from my customers telling me about all of the compliments they get.

A: What does an average jewelry making day look like?
JR: It's not every day that I get to just sit down and make necklaces. Unfortunately, everyday life gets in the way, but I do set aside "necklace making days." I generally buy my beads in bulk and once I have them in my hands, I start making them right away. I sit at my workstation, turn on Netflix, and begin make necklaces for hours. I'm fortunate because I never get bored of it. I enjoy being creative to come up with original pieces, no necklace is ever the same.

A: Had you ever made jewelry before you started JRD?
JR: When I was little I used to make friendship bracelets out of string if you want to count that. Otherwise, no, it is new to me!
(Hello embroidery floss bracelets-my life when I was younger!)

A: What is your favorite J.R. Design you have made? 
JR: I can't pick one necklace in specific, but I love the arrowhead ones. I didn't originally buy the arrowhead stones because my mom didn't like them and told me people would not buy them. Well, this goes to show you that mother doesn't always know best because the arrowheads have ended up being my best sellers! 

A: Starbucks order?
JR: Call me crazy, but I am not a Starbucks fan. In fact, I have never even tried coffee! I know that if I try it once I may get addicted so I'm better off sparing my wallet and not trying it at all.

A: Sweet or salty?
JR: Salty. Don't get me wrong, I love sweets, but I generally find myself craving salty foods. My mom bakes all of the time so I am constantly surrounded by sweets which, oddly enough, makes me crave them less.

A: Favorite show to binge watch on Netflix?
JR: The Office and Gossip Girl...hellooo Chuck Bass and Jim Halpert. Just don't ask me to choose between those two shows, both are addicting! 

A: Favorite bite?
JR: This is a hard one because I love food so much. For the most part I am a healthy eater but all bets are off when it comes to pizza. Also, add this to your list next time you go to Trader Joe's, "Reduced Guilt Guacamole." I can easily go through one a day. Luckily there is a Trader Joe's right by me in Dallas, but for now Tulsa is the closest option. Honestly, the 1.5 hour drive may be worth it.
(I'm impatiently waiting for the OKC location to open in September. Reduced Guilt Guacamole is at the top of my list to purchase once it does!)
 

To order your own J.R. Design you can contact Jordan by email jmrich2010@gmail.com or phone 405-250-7866 (ships nationwide). Make sure to follow her Instagram @j.r.designs for new designs and styles!

Annie

Out of the Box

I've got a new one for you, one that takes things slightly out of the box, literally. June Box is bringing a new approach to gift giving. No shopping, wrapping or shipping hassle when you use June Box. The thought and crafting that Carson and Katie Rock have put into June Box makes it a stand out in my eyes. 

Last week I got to sit down with this husband/wife co-founder duo. They greeted me with fresh baked beer bread, and instantly had me hooked. I got the inside scoop on why they started June Box, got to see how each box is put together and hear all about what is ahead for this new company. With a passion for starting their own business, the idea came and they ran with it. They wanted to make the process of gift giving easy. They have found the products, designed the packaging, ship each box and even include a hand written note to make your gift fit each recipient personally and perfectly. 

Since graduating school my friends are spread far and wide. How nice to be able to send a friend a gift for their birthday, when they start a new job, move into a new home, or to just send them a little box of sunshine. 

They have boxes in a range of themes for all of life's occasions. Boxes for your BFF, your bridesmaid, your mom, your boy, the little ones and the furry ones. Getting married? June Box can even handle your welcome gifts for out of town guests.

The products Carson and Katie have rounded up is what makes June Box stand out to me. Each box includes items you would actually use and want. One of my favorite boxes is the You Knead It box. It includes a package of beer bread mix, a tea towel and a butter knife. The perfect thing to send to your friend a few states over who just moved into her first big girl apartment. Biased because I got to try the bread and it's stinking good, but really, you knead it. 

Q&A with Carson and Katie:

Where did you get the name, June Box?  June is the month we got married in, but we also wanted something short, simple and available on social platforms which made us land on "June Box" 

What is June Box’s mantra?  Thoughtfully curated and hand packed gift boxes for all occasions. 

Where do you see June Box going in the future?  Our goal is to make gift giving easier. We want to give people a way to still put thought into their gifts, but have the convenience of online shopping. We are constantly trying to grow our assortment so we have gifts for any occasion you could want to send a box. We're looking forward to a "build a box" option and a full lineup of wedding boxes coming out soon! 

What’s an average day in the June Box world?  On a average day we'll ship out the previous day's boxes (we try to get all boxes delivered within 3 days of your order), update all our social platforms, reach out to new vendors, and continue building out new parts of our website. We also like spending time meeting with future brides and business owners about customized bulk orders at our storefront in OKC (open by appointment only). 

Which is your favorite box?
Carson = "You Knead It" I can't get enough of the Soberdough beer bread mix in this box.
Katie = "RelaxI love the colors of this box, all the products are great, and there are so many occasions to give someone this box! 

Any tips for entrepreneurs?  Go for it! If you have an idea you want to pursue, we'd tell you to jump right in and make it happen. We saved for a year to start this business and Katie still works full time at an oil company while Carson works part time doing consulting. We're excited to be making June Box go from a dream to a reality and for an entrepreneur there is no better feeling than seeing something you've dreamed up actually take shape. So we'd say do what it takes to get your business started as soon as you can! 

Favorite bite?  Carson = Ribs. I love barbeque anywhere, but the ribs at Red Rock Canyon Grill are at the top of my list right now. Katie = chips and queso!

Guilty pleasure?  Carson = AM talk radio/documentaries, I'm kind of a nerd sometimes. Katie = Dancing with the stars. Last season was the first time I had ever watched it, but I'm totally hooked! 

Now for the really fun part. Want a June Box sent to you? Enter the June Box/Take A Bite giveaway for the chance to receive your very on box on your doorstep! June Box is giving away one of their most popular boxes, Ray of Sunshine. Comes from the idea that you can send someone a little sunshine! See below for how to enter!

To enter the giveaway:

1. Follow both @shopjunebox and myself.

2. Tag three friends you would send a June Box to!

Winner will be announced Thursday morning!

Make sure to follow June Box on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to say up to date with all the JB happenings! 

Annie