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Yukon strikes gold with Green Chile Kitchen

Yukon native Trevor Logan shares the flavors of his life's journey with the opening of Green Chile Kitchen in his hometown.
by Dave Cathey Modified: January 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm •  Published: January 16, 2013

“We just lost her right before Christmas,” Trevor said. “But we were so glad she got to come in and eat at the restaurant before she died.”

Both Eloise and Alva lived to be 91, Alva passing in 2009.

“The whole reason we even started doing pies was because of my grandmother,” Trevor Logan said. “It was such a big part of our lives growing up.”

So much so, that pies were part of the menu even in the early days of the original Green Chile Kitchen, which opened with a little more than 20 seats.

When a new, larger space came open in 2010, Trevor moved Green Chile Kitchen but kept the space to open Chile Pies (& Ice Cream). In 2011, he opened a third location, Chile Pies (Sweet & Savory).

Trevor said there is a difference between the pies they do in San Francisco and those made in Yukon, and it's the crust.

“I grew up on crusts made from shortening,” Trevor said. “But we use only butter in the crusts in the Bay Area.”

He said the Oklahoma location allows him to use shortening like his grandmother did.

“We use half shortening, half butter here,” he said. “I like shortening for the texture of the crust and butter for extra flavor.”

Whatever it is, it's right on the money. This is crust good enough to eat without pie — truly rare.

The specialty of the house is Green Chile Apple Pie, a perfect blend of sweet and savory. For me and the nation of peanut butter and chocolate zealots to which I belong, however, the Peanut Butter Chocolate pie is our new deity.

On my first trip, I had this slice of heaven and asked server Darren Stevens if the pie was available daily. He told me the pies rotate, so it might not be available every day. I assured Darren that every day the Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie isn't served an angel dies. I've been to Green Chile Kitchen four times, and no angels were killed on those days.

As for the variety, just as with other menu items, the pie choices will gradually grow — perhaps even adding savory pies down the road.

Downtown revitalization

Before the fourth Green Chile Kitchen had chosen a home, Trevor was visiting with his cousin, Debi Mahoney, on a pier in Santa Monica, Calif.

“He was trying to decide between a spot near I-35 and the spot downtown,” Mahoney said. “He was really unsure of which way to go. Then he turned and saw a Route 66 sign that read ‘End of the Trail.' He turned back to me and said, ‘I guess I have my answer.'”

Even though Trevor hasn't lived in Oklahoma since graduating from Yukon High School in 1988, the Logan family has remained a pillar of the community. And folks who venture into Green Chile Kitchen won't be surprised to find father, Bill Logan, refilling ice tea or mother, Cherie Logan, who owns the local State Farm Insurance Agency, peeling apples in the kitchen.

Trevor's love affair with the cuisine of New Mexico started upon arriving at the College of Santa Fe in 1988.

There to chase a career in film and video production, Trevor graduated four years later and headed for San Francisco where he ended up booking acts for an old-school cabaret for more years than he intended.

“I loved that job, but when I turned 35, I decided I needed to do look for something new.”

One thing he and friends did a lot was cook — especially the green chiles he'd fallen in love with during his college days.

“We were having this big feast, and I thought to myself, ‘This could be the thing.'”

It was.

Sister Tara Peters ended 17 years with Yukon Public Schools as an educator and administrator to take on the challenge of co-owning and managing the restaurant. Brother Trent, who works in maintenance for Yukon schools remodeled the interior of the space with some friends in their off hours.

Cocktail names reflect bygone Yukon institutions, and the Logans plan to be a part of helping revitalize Yukon's historic downtown. Their building is a major part of that. The restaurant lies in the parking lot of the Sands Inn, just east of the old mill in downtown Yukon.

The original Chateau Inn was part of a chain launched by iconic entertainer Liberace in 1965. In its heyday, it boasted French Provincial interiors, the smorgasbord-boasting Chateau Restaurant, an art gallery and a swimming pool behind wrought iron gates emblazoned with an aquamarine ‘C” and ‘I'. But by the late 1980s, the space was being leased to the Jesus House. It then became a Green Carpet Inn and is now the Sands Inn.

The old Chateau Restaurant was home to numerous Lions Club luncheons and city meetings. It's also the place, according to myth, where Elvis Presley once spent the night — though that assertion was debunked many moons ago.

Green Chile Kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go online to www.gckrt66.com or call 265-4346.

by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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