Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Restaurants

Taste That Won't Fall Flat

By Melody Allwine

Every time I write a post about food, I think to myself "what do I know about food?" I'm an OK cook, I watch the Food Network occasionally, I drool over the "where to eat" articles in the travel magazines I subscribe to, I pin yummy looking recipes on Pinterest. Other than that, I really have no qualifications, but I love to eat! I'm like Oprah with her bread obsession, but I can't settle on one food I LOVE because I, seriously, love them all (except pomegranates-not a fan)! 

My recent food obsession is Napa Flats with their phenomenal salads, wood-fired pizza selection, AND gelato that is made in-house. Technically, Napa Flats isn't local- they got their start in Texas- but the food is so good that I can set aside our Red River rivalry for a bit to tell you about it. Their menu has a wide variety of Italian inspired dishes, with a fresh California twist- like their Spinach and Kale Ravioli or the Poblano Mac 'n Cheese (yum!).  Other options include things like their California Cobb salad, Citrus Chicken, and the Lamb Flat. The Prosciutto Arugula pizza is by far my favorite thing on the menu, though. 

Napa Flats is located on Riverside and has a great view overlooking the water. The environment is warm and inviting and the open-kitchen concept allows you to experience the action first-hand. The owner, who is very friendly and helpful, is typically nearby. Napa Flats also offers a variety of beer, cocktails and a lengthy wine-list. The best part, though, is that you can also pop in just for a taste of gelato, as the gelato shop is located just inside the front door, before you reach the entrance to the main restaurant! Try any flavor- I promise you won't be sorry!



Place:          Napa Flats Wood-Fired Kitchen

Location:   9912 Riverside Parkway | Tulsa, OK 74137

Phone :       (918)948-6505

Website :    Napa Flats

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Activities

Winter's Icy Glaze

By Melody Allwine


Winter in Oklahoma can be quite a surprise for those who have never experienced it before. It could be 80º on Monday, but there might be snow on the ground by Friday. A famous phrase in our house, growing up, was one coined by my grandmother, "Tricky Weather." My mother used this phrase, often, to tell us something that most moms tell their kids- grab a jacket, because you never know when the weather might turn.  

Even though we may experience a dip in the temperatures and blustery winds are far from unusual, snow is not as common an occurrence in Oklahoma, making outdoor activities far less enjoyable. While this is no problem for me, since I am happy to curl up with a hot cup of coffee and binge-watch my favorite shows on Netflix, my three-year-old is not as content to sit still. In search of an activity that would both entertain and stimulate her (without hours of singing every. single. song. from the movie Frozen), I was reminded of an activity that was a favorite of mine as a kid. Excited for a new adventure, Elaina, Jeremy, and I headed over to Purple Glaze Studio. 

As soon as you walk through the doors of Purple Glaze, you are greeted by shelves and shelves of white pottery in all shapes and sizes, just waiting for you to add your personal flair. Amongst the myriad of pieces to choose from, is a selection of vases, plates, figurines, and other assorted decorative items. Selecting your piece is almost as exciting as the painting itself (especially if you are 3 years old)! Elaina chose a dog, I chose a pumpkin, and Jeremy chose a business card holder. Picking your glaze is the next step. There are so many colors to choose from and plenty of finished pieces around the studio to observe and draw inspiration from. When you are satisfied with your creation, simply take it to the front desk and let the Studio do the rest! They will fire your artwork and have it ready to pick up in about a week. Just a tip-if you are not in town for very long or you simply want to leave with your piece in hand, I would recommend going to the South Tulsa location, as they have a "make & take" option available. If glazing, isn't your thing both locations also offer mosaic-making.

If you are trying to battle cabin fever for a few hours or you just want to express your creativity, head on over to Purple Glaze Studio!



Place :           Purple Glaze Studios

Location:      Brookside-- 3303 S. Peoria Ave., Tulsa, OK 74105

South Tulsa-- 6528 E. 91st St., Tulsa, OK 74133

Website:       Purple Glaze Studio


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Our Year In Review



2016- What a year it has been!


"Wow! How swiftly time goes by! Four years ago I had no grandchildren. This Christmas was a chaotic, wild, noisy chorus as I witnessed the spectacle of my 5 granddaughters celebrate Jesus' birthday! What fun! What joy! 

It is just such events that reinforce our commitment to providing homes for our guests. We thoroughly and vicariously enjoy visualizing your families as they gather, fellowship, share meals, and make memories. 

We anticipate and ready ourselves for the upcoming year, to do the best job possible to serve your family by preparing Live Local Guest Homes for your use!"

-Park Allwine, Property Manager/Owner


"Christmas in a cup, 'Sweet and Spicy' tea is warm, fragrant, and embodies the aromatic taste of wonderful memories of family and friends gathering together. I savor the flavor, just as our family loves providing home and opportunities for friends, family, and coworkers to come together at Live Local Guest Homes.

As we shared our love through candlelit carols, exchanging gifts, and partaking of home-cooked meals (or at least in my case, organized meals-- but thats another story), we marveled that our family had grown to include myself and my husband, two children, five grandchildren, and a one-horse open sleigh-full of extended family and friends, including some of you!

2016 was a year full of challenges, but as one of our first ladies said 'A woman is like a teabag; you never know how strong it is until it's in hot water.' We are grateful to see the beautiful sunset of 2016 and welcome the experience of a great 2017 shared with you!"

- Donna Allwine, Director of Operations/Owner


" How is it already the end of the year? Where did the time go? I know, I know- everyone is so ready for 2016 to be over, but this year has been wonderful to me. It has been chock-full of happy memories and new adventures- Elaina's 3rd birthday, watching her funny personality develop, playing, and winning, every game imaginable with Jeremy (don't ask him about it-- he might remember it a bit differently), traveling to so many amazing destinations, and learning so many new things. 2016 wasn't all a walk in the park, though. We have certainly had our share of adjustments. But, the best part about adjusting is that it means we are learning and growing. We've learned a lot this year and I am anxiously anticipating the challenges and rewards, the guests and friends, the exciting stories and fun memories, that a new year will bring our way! It is going to be wonderful! 2017-here we come!" 

-Melody Allwine, Reservations Coordinator


"This year has been exciting and adventurous, as we have adjusted from being a family of five to a family of six! Welcoming the addition of our sweet youngest child, Darlene, who also has the honor of carrying her great grandma's name. We have had many wonderful day ventures where we were given the opportunity to grow and learn our family, as a whole. And we have been greatly blessed with God's favor in many areas. Our older daughter, Mary, celebrated her fourth birthday this year and went from a wild toddler to an intellectual big kid. Our second oldest, Abigail, has struggled with hearing loss, and this year has been a year of blossoming into a talkative three-year-old. Aurora popped her first two teeth through in the same week as her first birthday, then decided to finally start walking shortly after that. Now, no one can keep up with that mischievous grin who runs faster than the wind. Darlene was welcomed into the family just nine short months ago and has managed to steal everyone's hearts and crawl away with them, all while yelling "Mama! Mama!" and causing much more laughter than anyone would imagine from such a tiny human! As for Rob and myself, we've taken each stride with as much patience and grace as parents of four little girls under the age of four can, on a day-by-day basis. We have celebrated our second wedding anniversary, our third Christmas together as a married couple, and so many "first" holidays as a complete family of six. It's been a wild year but more fun that we ever would've dreamed we'd be having at such a young age!"

-Rob and Kaycee Allwine, Maintenance and Hospitality



Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Guest Profiles

Guests, Friends

By Melody Allwine

Live Local Experience

Live Local Experience

Live Local Experience

Live Local Experience

Live Local Experience

Live Local Experience

My favorite part of coordinating reservations is being able to talk to each of our guests. The stories, the reasons for visiting, the traditions kept, and the memories made-- I love feeling like a small part of the experience. Occasionally, I get to hear so much about the lives of our guests that they begin to feel more like friends.

Earlier this year, I made a new "friend" named Geri. She called me, needing to decide between two of our homes, Darlington Heights and Nivi's Niche. Her friendly demeanor and midwest accent (something that we don't hear very often in Tulsa) immediately told me that I was going to like her. She gave me the story on the reason for her visit- her son's wedding. I love weddings, so I was thrilled when she went into detail about all the arrangements. I answered her questions about the homes and she settled on Nivi's Niche for her stay.

Over the next few weeks, we spoke on the phone multiple times, hammering out all the details, and each time chatting just a bit longer. During one of our last conversations before her check-in, Geri asked if I would like to attend the wedding. I almost fell out of my chair -I was so surprised and honored that she would want to include me in something so personal! I, of course, accepted the invitation without hesitation.

On the day of the wedding, Jeremy and I made the drive to Moore Farms, where the wedding was taking place. It was lovely! The twinkling lights from the chandeliers and the open-air chapel were the perfect balance of rustic elegance. The environment was warm and inviting, and I felt like I was surrounded by a group of people who truly cared about one another. Niko, the groom, could not stop grinning as his stunning bride, Codie made the walk down the aisle. The ceremony was a beautiful celebration of the couple's love for God and for each other.

At the reception, I tracked down Geri (who also looked amazing!) and finally introduced myself in person. I had added her on Facebook the night before so that I would know who to look for. Thank goodness for technology! She hugged me and I felt like I had known her forever. After the barbecue dinner and the delicious cupcakes had been served, Geri was kind enough to introduce me to the entire family and many of the family's friends. I was delighted to also meet the members of the family, including the groom's father, who were staying at the InterContinental Guest Home, one of our other homes.

Attending Niko and Codie's wedding is an experience that I won't soon forget. It was wonderful to witness such joy and love between two people and to feel so welcome to join in the celebration. I pray for blessings and happiness in their marriage and look forward to years of continued friendship with a guest who is more than a guest, Geri!

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Restaurants


By Melody Allwine

Live Local Experience Torero

Live Local Experience-- Torero

Live Local Experience-- Torero

Live Local Experience-- Torero

Live Local Experience-- Torero

I have a confession: I use girl's night out (and sometimes date night) as an excuse to force my friends to go with me to try new restaurants. When I moved back to Tulsa several years ago, I quickly realized that my friends had exactly 3 regular spots that they would eat, drink, and have get-togethers at. It became my mission to try as many local places as I could so that when it was my turn to choose, I would have something new and interesting to recommend. Funny enough, that is also how this blog started. When I discovered that Tulsa has a Restaurant Week, I was thrilled to be able to pitch an idea to my friends that would allow us to try something new. I sealed the deal when I informed the girls that it also benefited the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma's Food for Kids program. Who could say no?

This year, Restaurant Week had over forty restaurants to choose from. A few were in the running for our girl's night, but I made a strong case for the newly-opened Torero and it was settled. We met at the restaurant and per usual, I was the last to arrive.

As I sat down at the table, my friend Lydia told me that the waiter was a "smarty," meaning that he had correctly, albeit slightly sarcastically, assumed that my two friends sharing the same side of the booth, were not on a date with each other and were expecting another person. I think the third menu and empty seat might have tipped him off.

We discussed how interesting the decor is-- modern and vibrant, with motifs and colors that are indicative of the Latin and Spanish influences that also inspired the menu. Behind the bar, mounted in a sea of blue subway tiles, is a large black bull named Mataco.

When our waiter came back for the third time and we still hadn't decided on food, he gave us a lesson on the difference between Mezcal and Tequila, cementing his "smarty" status. And, when we finally looked over the menu, we were met with a range of options that all sounded delicious. I chose the Ceviche for my appetizer, Seco de Chivo for my entree, and a phenomenal dessert, that I unfortunately do not remember the name of. My friend Sarah ordered the Costillas for her entree and Lydia ordered some delicious tacos. The portions at Torero are on the smaller side, but the flavor packs a big punch. 


Place:       Torero Bar and Kitchen

Location:  202 S Cheyenne Ave.

                   Tulsa, OK 74103

Phone:      (918)894-4004


Recommend: All ages, but better for older groups as the food isn't super kid-friendly. 

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Activities, Restaurants


By Melody Allwine

Flying Tee-- Tulsa, OK

Flying Tee-- Tulsa, OK

Flying Tee-- Tulsa, OK

Flying Tee-- Tulsa, OK

Flying Tee-- Tulsa, OK

Many of my stories begin with advice that my mother gave me, and this story is no different. She used to tell me that if I wanted to be in business I would need to learn to golf. The reason? She said it was because "more deals are made on the golf course than in a conference room." True as that may be, my high school golf career consisted mainly of singing Shakira songs and perfecting my short game so that I could kick tail at Putt Putt.

FlyingTee on the Tulsa RiverWalk is the best of everything for me- I can eat, have a drink, socialize, play a little golf and I don't have to do the walking that playing a round of 18 holes requires. FlyingTee has three restaurants to choose from each offering a different selection, ranging from chicken wings and fries to grilled ahi tuna and steaks. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available on every level. On my first visit, I ate at the Sports Bar and I was not disappointed by the easy-to-eat appetizers and the selection of local beer my boyfriend and I chose while waiting for the rest of our group to arrive.

Whether you are an avid golfer or you have never held a club, FlyingTee has options for you. You can choose to play a computerized course or games like Darts and Horse. I suggest choosing a game like Horse if you are with a larger group. Otherwise, it takes quite a while for everyone to get through their turn. If you are alone or with only a few people, playing one of the many courses can be very entertaining. You might even improve your game! A beer garden sitting next to a putting green outside, and televisions, inside, broadcasting every game imaginable, offer alternative sources of entertainment, if the driving bays aren't your thing. 


Place:         FlyingTee 

Location:   600 Riverwalk Terrace

                     Jenks, OK 74037

Phone:       (918)528-4634

Website:     FlyingTee

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Events, Restaurants

Brunch Bunch

By Melody Allwine

Live Local Experience-- Antoinette

Live Local Experience-- Antoinette

Live Local Experience--Antoinette

Live Local Experience-- Antoinette

Live Local Experience-- Antoinette

Live Local Experience -- Antoinette

Brunch is my favorite meal. It is, truly, the best of everything when it comes to meals. It allows you to sleep in without going hungry. You can sip mimosas or coffee. You can order something savory or sweet... or both!

Last Saturday, my life-long friend Katelyn came into town for a visit. We decided to meet up for my favorite meal of the day at Antoinette Baking Company. Known for their macarons, pies and other baked goods, Antoinette has sweet treats down pat. They recently relocated and began offering a wider variety of sweets as well as some savory options for breakfast, lunch, brunch, and snack time. The ingredients are always fresh, everything is scratch-made, and their menu is ever-changing, with each day's menu posted the morning-of on their Instagram feed.

As we stood in line waiting to order, Elaina, my 3 year old daughter, was enthralled with the display case full of colorful macarons, tasty looking pastries, and the chocolate sprinkled donuts (her breakfast choice). The decor is modern and clean with details that hint at the decadence of the Renaissance era. I love the wallpaper and the chandelier and the other gold touches throughout, but my favorite is a light fixture made out of an industrial whisk.

Saturday's brunch menu was southern-comfort-food inspired, offering chicken and dumplings, chicken fried steak, and grits, to name a few. I ordered the House Cured and Smoked Ham and Grits and I have to say-- it was phenomenal. The woman who brought our food to us jokingly said she brought me a spoon, "to finish every last drop." Little did she know, I seriously considered doing just that.

Katelyn ordered the Classic French Toast, which was topped with maple syrup, whipped cream, and a local fruit compote. When it arrived, it looked drool-worthy and when she finally let me steal a bite, my suspicions of the dish's tastiness were confirmed.

In short, the food was delicious, the service excellent, and the experience very enjoyable. I am already looking forward to my next trip to Antoinette Baking Co. Maybe even tomorrow, for Pie Night!


Place:          Antoinette Baking Company

Location:    207 N Main St

Tulsa, OK 74103

Phone:        (918)764-8404


Recommend: All Ages

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Restaurants

Burgers, BBQ, and More!

By Melody Allwine

Live Local Experience, Tulsa OK

Live Local Experience, Tulsa, OK

Sriracha and Peanut Butter Burger

Franklin's Pork & Barrel, Broken Arrow, OK

In the heart of the Rose District in Broken Arrow, you will find Franklin's Pork & Barrel, a little restaurant that boasts big flavor. Franklin's blends Southwest flavors and spices with a few Oklahoma staples- burgers and barbecue. The result is a unique and delicious flavor experience that you do not want to miss!

I am very indecisive when it comes to deciding where to eat (ask my poor boyfriend). But, when date night rolled around a few weeks ago, I had no trouble deciding where I wanted to go. Everything about Franklin's Pork & Barrel, from the neon, pig-shaped "OPEN" sign to the massive, bar-height wooden tables and the pig mounted on the wall behind the bar give the impression that you are in for some really good Oklahoma barbecue. This is deceiving, however, because their menu doesn't end with barbecue. Their delectable concoctions range from Peanut Butter and Sriracha to Fried Egg and Smoked Pork burgers (as seen above). They also offer plenty of other entree options including pulled pork tacos, steak, salmon, a barbecue platter and even a mac and cheese option, if burgers aren't your thing. 

Live Local Experience:

Place:          Franklin's Pork & Barrel

Location:    203 S Main Street

Broken Arrow, OK 74012


Phone:         918-286-6770

Price:           Burgers/Entrees range from $8 t0 $20

Recommend: All ages.


Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Restaurants

The Wild Fork

By Melody Allwine

Wild Fork-- Tulsa, OK

Macaroni and Cheese-- Wild Fork, Tulsa, OK

Grilled Chicken Sandwich- Wild Fork, Tulsa OK

Grilled Chicken Sandwich-- Wild Fork, Tulsa, OK

German Potato Salad-- Wild Fork, Tulsa, OK

Utica Square, Tulsa OK

IMG_1320 (3)


Russell Stover- Utica Square Tulsa OK

Summer is here, and that means long days filled with fun activities! Last week, I had the cutest lunch date join me at The Wild Fork in Utica Square. The Wild Fork opened in 1995 and since that time, our family has enjoyed many meals there. The outdoor patio seating is one of my favorite aspects of the restaurant, but since it has been so warm, Elaina and I opted to eat inside.

After we spilled water all over the table (whoops!) Elaina ordered the Mac and Cheese (which I ate most of) and I ordered a Grilled Chicken Sandwich. The flatbread and hummus add an interesting and delicious twist to something so classic. I also love Lentil and Feta Cheese Sandwich. If you are heading there for dinner I recommend the Lamb Chops, Fettuccine with tomatoes and arugula, or their Mediterranean Burger.

The Wild Fork has a very unique, almost quirky aesthetic, so you will never be bored while dining. They have a constant rotation of local artwork on the walls and vibrant decor to match.

After lunch, we spent some time walking around Utica Square, enjoying the fountain and the sun. Of course, our day would not have been complete without some ice cream. Thankfully, Russell Stover is right around the corner from The Wild Fork and has a variety of options for sweet treats!

Ask A Local:

Place:         The Wild Fork

Location:   1820 Utica Square

Tulsa, OK 74114


Phone:       (918)742-0712

Facilities:   Parking available all around Utica Square. Bathrooms are very nice.

Price:          Dinner Entrees range from $11.95 to $39.50

Recommend: All ages, although they do not have a separate kids menu.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Activities, Events

Folds of Honor FreedomFest

By Melody Allwine


"We are going to see the fireworks, mommy!"







As I said in my last post, I always enjoy the Fourth of July. This year was no exception! My daughter Elaina and I spent this year at the Folds of Freedom FreedomFest held at the River West Festival Park, near downtown. It was a fun-filled event with plenty of activities for people of all ages. Elaina and I got our faces painted, gorged ourselves on corndogs and cotton candy, listened to the live music, and ended the night watching one of the largest fireworks displays in the United States. Elaina also loved running through the inflatables that they had for kids. They also had a laser tag course and rock climbing wall that we didn't try out. We are already counting down the days until next year!

Live Local Experience:

Parking was $5- come early to get a spot. Face painting was $5. Inflatables were free. Fireworks began around 9:30, with the grand finale at 10. Restrooms were portable restrooms.