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Green Chile Kitchen

12 E. Main St.
Yukon, OK
(405) 265-4346

Green Chile Kitchen on Route 66 in Yukon, Oklahoma

The owners of Green Chile Kitchen have to be given credit for opening a New Mexico style Mexican restaurant in this Oklahoma City suburb. I have thought for some time that the public is ready for alternatives to the almost ubiquitous Tex-Mex restaurants in the area, and the crowds I saw at Green Chile Kitchen bear this out. My first visit was on a weeknight, and there was about a 15-20 minute wait for a table. The parking lot was full, and I believe most people were there for the high quality, individually prepared meals rather than wanting Mexican food that was done on a more mass-produced scale (but which would have led to shorter waiting times).

Green Chile Kitchen's menu points out some of the quality control measures the restaurant uses, such as serving cage free natural chicken and serving all house made pies (Yukon, with its Czech heritage, has a tradition of serving excellent pies in its restaurants). I planned my initial visit just as I would in New Mexico-- during the chile harvest season so that I could try the freshest green chile. Green Chile Kitchen did not disappoint in this regard.

Chips and salsa
Chips and salsa are excellent

The Salsa was a very good way to start the meal. This salsa had a robust flavor, was very fresh, and was not "contaminated" by the ingredients that usually diminish the flavor in Tex-Mex restaurants such as cumin. In fact, I think most restaurants in New Mexico would be proud to have salsa like this one. The spiciness of it was probably less than in most New Mexico restaurants, but to me that did not detract from the expeience.

The Chips were also excellent, but I can say it was the salsa that was really memorable (especially considering most of the salsa that is served in Oklahoma).

Green chile stew
Green chile stew

The Green Chile Stew shown in the photo is actually a cup (they also have a large order available), but it was almost big enough for a meal. I ended up tasting three items served with green chile because of the fact that I wanted to have the fresh chile during harvest season, and my conclusion was that this was the best of the three dishes. I have already mentioned the type of chicken Green Chile Kitchen uses, and with this and the green chile being the main ingredients, it is hard to go wrong with this. The green chile was mild (it was ordered this way on purpose, and the menu offers both mild and spicy versions). The chile was very flavorful, though, and would be considered very decent by New Mexico standards. The green chile was really the common theme about what I liked in several dishes I tried.

The Flour Tortilla that came with the stew was really rather disappointing, and I ordered a sopaipilla on the side that really made the stew a much better dish (in fact, without the sopaipilla I really did not think the stew had much flavor). Thus I need to qualify that although I have listed the green chile stew as one of the best dishes at the restaurants, this is provided that you order a sopaipilla with it (and eating it with a sopaipilla raises it to five-star status).

The sour cream was something I would have preferred on the side. I enjoyed a little bit of the stew with sour cream, but I felt as if this was not a very authentic version of this New Mexico style dish. The restaurant menu explains, though, that the food here is "New Mexico inspired," and because of this I try not to make too many comparisons to restaurants that are familiar to me in Las Cruces or other parts of the Land of Enchantment.

Flat enchiladas
Flat enchiladas with green chile

One obvious items that I thought made this restaurant less than authentic was the fact that they did not have blue corn tortillas to use in the enchiladas. The Flat Enchiladas I ordered did remind me a lot of New Mexico style enchiladas, and I think this may be the only place in Oklahoma that does it this way. However, there was no option of ordering an egg on top, as is usually available in New Mexico, and instead the enchiladas were covered with sour cream (something I began to regret after trying two dishes that were served this way). I ordered the enchiladas with the spicy green chile, but it was really hard to tell it from the mild chile. Actually I can say that the "4 chile" spiciness rating I gave the restaurant was because of the chile used in the chile relleno and not because of the mild to medium spicy green chile. Still, I was happy with the flavor and the green chile was definitely the best part of the enchiladas and the meal in general.

I thought the enchiladas relied too much on the cheese flavor, but this was probably because of the sour cream that was added on top. In any case, I don't think enchiladas in New Mexico usually use this much cheese (or else Green Chile Kitchen uses a different type of cheese).

The Pinto Beans were really enjoyable, and a couple of other types of beans are available if you desire.

The Rice was good but not noticeable either for having a robust flavor or a lack of flavor.

The green vegetable tasted like Pico de Gallo, and it served as a very good salad.

Chile relleno
Chile relleno

The Chile Relleno was smothered in cheese and was really not to my liking, but the green chile sauce covering it was good. I also liked the chile itself (this was the spiciest item I had at the restaurant). Overall, though, I was expecting more out of this considering that it was supposed to be New Mexico style (but of course the menu only states that it is "New Mexico inspired"). It was not greasy or bad at all considering some of the rellenos I have tried over the years-- it just had so much cheese that it pretty much drowned out the other flavors.

Sopaipilla
Sopaipilla New Mexico style

The Sopaipilla is something you order extra if you want it, and I ordered one with the meal. This was fortunate because it went great with the green chile stew. In fact, if I could afford the calories I would get a sopaipilla to go with the meal and another one for dessert.

Outside patio
The outside patio offers additional seating

The outside patio really reminded me of many restaurants in New Mexico (it's too bad the weather in Oklahoma does not match New Mexico's). I was impressed by the way they took an old coffee shop on Route 66 in Yukon and turned it into a replica of some of Albuquerque's old restaurants on Central Avenue (their version of Route 66).

Oklahoma City has only had four New Mexico style Mexican restaurants that I can remember, and one thing I was curious about was how Green Chile Kitchen would compare to its most recent counterpart, Purple Burro in Edmond. Purple Burro is still open but no longer serves New Mexican cuisine, and I really think a metropolitan area this big could support two such restaurants. My personal feeling is that Purple Burro had food that was more true to the New Mexican flavor, and a couple of things I tried (the green chile stew and enchiladas) were arguably better at Purple Burro. However, some things Green Chile Kitchen has going for it are a larger menu, better combination plates with more items I expect (such as rice and beans), some interesting things I want to try (such as posole), and probably most of all-- sopaipillas. I do think Green Chile Kitchen has some good potential, although Purple Burro would have had the same if they had stuck with the New Mexican concept (I understand that the Purple Burro changed owners and this was the reason for the change).

I am not normally a big fan of green chile compared to red, but the fact that I enjoyed the green chile at Green Chile Kitchen indicates the freshness of it. I would say that if I go back when it is not green chile harvest season I would definitely want to try some of the same dishes with the red version of the chile.

My Comments in a Nutshell
What I like most:
  • The green chile is the "real deal" (although not very spicy)
  • The sopaipilla is the only truly good one I have found in the OKC metro
  • The chips and salsa are among the best in OKC
  • Overall not a bad representation of New Mexican cuisine in Oklahoma
Disappointments:
  • The chile relleno was not New Mexican style, and in my opinion had too much cheese.
  • The food here is a mixture of New Mexican style and "New Mexican inspired" food. The true New Mexican style dishes were the best. My disappointment was the fact that from the menu, I could not tell which were the true New Mexican dishes.
Things to know:
  • In 2013 it was very crowded on weeknights, and I heard that it was quite difficult to get a table on weekends. Things may have changed by now, but I would keep this in mind when planning a trip to Yukon to eat here.
  • A good portion of the building seemed to be taken up by the bar (this may be one reason they have a limited number of tables for dinner). They do seem to have a lot of different drinks, though.
  • In my opinion it is well worth the small extra cost to order a sopaipilla, either to eat with dinner or for dessert (or for both).
  • In New Mexico I usually like to order green chile during harvest season (Aug. & Sep.), and red chile the rest of the time. I did not try the red chile at Green Chile Kitchen. The green chile was good, though. I do not know if the green chile was particularly good because I went in August, or whether they have the same chile all the time. I do think, though, that they always order the best chile that is available to them at the time.

RESTAURANT DETAILS

RATING: 20

Cuisine: Mexican New Mexican
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Tue.-Sat. & Sun. lunch
Smoking: No Smoking
Alchohol: Beer, Wine, Drinks

Chile Index:

Most Recent Visit
Aug. 1, 2013

Number of Visits: 1

Best Items
Green Chile Stew, Salsa, Sopaipilla

Special Ratings
Green Chile Stew:
Chicken Enchiladas:
Chile Relleno:
Beans:
Rice:
Chips:
Salsa:
Sopaipilla:

Restaurant Menu
Green Chile Kitchen menu

Restaurant Web Site
Green Chile Kitchen



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