It's that time again when I have a little to share about a lot of subjects within the local food scene:
• For the love of chiles: After Trevor Logan graduated from Yukon High School, he headed for college in Santa Fe, N.M., where he — like everyone else who spends any time there — fell in love with green chiles. Life took him to San Francisco, and he took his love of green chiles along in the form of a restaurant called Green Chile Kitchen and Market, which opened in 2006. Its success was such that expansion ensued with Green Chile Pies (and Ice Cream) in 2010 and Green Chile Pies (Sweet and Savory) in 2011.
For his next trick, Logan is bringing all that he's learned back home. Green Chile Kitchen Route 66 opens Tueday in Yukon.
Green Chile Kitchen Route 66 will serve food inspired by the distinctive flavors and traditions of New Mexico. I will have more coverage once Green Chile Kitchen settles into its home at 12 E Main St. in Yukon, which is gradually becoming a food destination.
• Norman news: New to Norman is Syrup, 123 E Main St., a breakfast boutique in the space left vacant by the original Forward Foods when it recently moved into a larger space. Syrup, which is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily except Monday, made its debut about a month ago. The menu is simple, the dishes are beautiful, and the flavors are spot-on for starting your day.
Speaking of Norman, on the way to breakfast at Syrup, I noticed the vacant building where the original Taco Mayo resided will soon be a Taco Casa, which is a small chain based in North Texas. I am way more excited about that than I should be. In the context of food served via drive-thru window, it's pretty darn good.
• Custino's conundrum: Bud Elder and his family went to court to maintain sole ownership of Custino's Italian Kitchen, 2724 W Britton Road, and the rights to the name. Elder and family are working hard to make this venture successful in the wake of the public airing of their dispute with former partner and friend Phil Custino and his son, Angelo.
Despite the court's ruling against them, Angelo and Phil appear determined to compete with their former partner. The Custinos apparently have signed a lease in the space formerly occupied by Divine Swine, 7801 N May Ave., footsteps from the original Custino's from the early 1990s, and plan to open Custino's Restaurant and Bar.
• Local flavor spreads: With the recent opening of The Mule (see story in Thursday's Mood section), Urban Wine Works and the success of Saints, the Plaza District appears positioned to fight MidTown, Automobile Alley/Ninth Street and the north Western Avenue corridor over the title of “Where the Locals Go.”
Midtown is set to add Saturn Grill soon, and not long after that Waffle Champion will add bricks and mortar to its arsenal. The sweet-and-savory waffle truckers will lay anchor at the 1212 Building. Todd Woodruff, Waffle Champion president, says fans can expect a spring 2013 opening.
But all of them might need to keep an eye on the rearview mirror at Uptown, which has long been anchored by Cheever's and the Asian District while adding in the past few years Big Truck Tacos, Mutt's Amazing Hot Dogs, Bubba's Barbecue, and Cuppies & Joe. Uptown is now on the verge of adding Guernsey Park, Aviano's Gelato Shop, Orange Leaf Yogurt and Pizza 23 on the strip of NW 23 between Classen Boulevard and Broadway.
• S&B expands southward: Speaking of Ninth Street, the decision to expand there by S&B Burger Joint has apparently been so successful that two more concepts are in the works. Plans are in place to open at Interstate 240 and S Walker on Oct. 22 and in Norman before the end of the year.
• Dazzling move: Culinary Kitchen recently completed its move from the old location at 7302 N Western to 2222 N Western, taking over the space long occupied by One Silver Place. While Claude Rappaport and daughter Lori are still installing equipment, the space is dazzling. When all is said and done, the new, improved Culinary Kitchen will be the benchmark for high-performance kitchen appliance stores within a 500-mile radius.
Native Roots nears opening: Attention downtown, you are going to get a grocery store. I know you've been hearing it for years, but this time it's for real. And while it might not be a megastore, it's going to be a lot cooler. Native Roots Market, which closed in Norman at the end of summer, will reopen this month in Deep Deuce.
Inaugural brunch stop: The wife and I have decided to commit to brunch at least once a month. Our first stop in this adventure was at Bellini's Ristorante, 6305 Waterford Blvd. No. 100. The Buthion brothers run what's generally considered among the top brunches in town at their La Baguette Bistro on N May Avenue.
Their first year at the venerable Bellini's, which has been an institution in the Waterford Business Building for nearly three decades, has been a bit of a wrestling match. Chef Alain Buthion, who learned his trade within an hour of the Italian border, was determined to return the menu to its Italian roots. While the food has successfully done that, it hasn't happened without irritating some regulars who grew accustomed to a menu that strayed toward meatloaf and the like over the years. Adding brunch could be the final touch to quiet the loud minority. On a recent resplendent Sunday morning, we toasted Mimosas over beautifully crafted egg dishes The Nest and The Crab with a view of the fountain and under the spell of guitarist Greg Northwood. Brunch starts at 10 a.m. Call 848-1065 for reservations.