Glen Emond sits near the Yukon River in Whitehorse on May. 9 and chows down on “The Glen” while his pup Pickle watches intently.(Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Putting a face to your food (and drink): the Yukoners who inspired menu items downtown

Spend enough time eating in downtown Whitehorse and you’ll find several establishments with food named after Yukoners.

Never has a bagel sandwich in downtown Whitehorse been more meta. Its layers have been picked with precision. Together they capture the ethos of the man who inspired it.

Called “The Glen,” named after musician Glen Emond, the sandwich is a combination of heaps of roast beef, pickled onions, Dijon aioli, lettuce and tomatoes.

“Because it’s the most beautiful, the most powerful, monosyllabic name we can think of, and also, our friend Glen is a wonderful, beefy, handsome God of a man,” said Adrian Burrill, co-owner of Bullet Hole Bagels, adding that the sandwich was wildly popular when the shop offered it as one of its weekly specials in the past.

“We came up with this beautiful sandwich, this glorious sandwich,” he said, “and we were like, ‘This needs a good name. We can’t just call this the roast beef and pickles.’”

There’s another layer to both sandwich and story: Pickles.

Yes, Emond has a dog named Pickle.

Burrill called this a “happy accident,” and “perfect,” so he naturally decided to throw on house-made pickles for good measure.

When “The Glen” was first introduced, Emond, a guitarist in Major Funk and the Employment, in which Burrill is also a member, came into the shop unaware of his sudden celebrity.

“He (Burrill) didn’t tell me about it or anything. I just happened to show up and they had ‘The Glen’ on the menu,” he said, noting that he did, in fact, order it. “I was thinking, ‘Is this some sort of conspiracy against me?’

“I’ll take it as half compliment, half poking fun at me. I’m just a regular guy, you know.”

(To coincide with the date of this article, Bullet Hole Bagels is bringing “The Glen” back.)

“I think it’s cool,” Emond said speaking about the idea. “It gives some homey vibes to the city. Little bit more personal touch for everyone involved, and there’s a bit of lore, I guess — I don’t know if I should be part of that lore.”

Spend enough time eating in downtown Whitehorse and you’ll pick up on the trend. Several downtown establishments have food named after Yukoners.

Jim Robb eats “The Jim Robb Special” at the Gold Pan Saloon in Whitehorse on May 11, 2019. The breakfast sandwich comes with lettuce, tomatoes, eggs and bacon, but Robb prefers his sandwich without veggies. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Walk up Main Street to the Gold Pan Saloon and you’ll find the “The Jim Robb Special,” for instance, a “glorified” toasted bacon and egg sandwich with tomatoes, cheese and lettuce.

Manager Heather Horsnell said Robb, a well-known local artist, is a fixture there.

“He frequents our bar at many different hours of the morning or evening and that’s what he always wanted to have,” she said.

Asked how it all started, Robb, who’s lived in the Yukon for more than 60 years, said, “I got no idea. All of a sudden, I’m at the restaurant, gonna order something to eat and I see my name there, ha, you know, it’s a surprise to me.

“It’s a novel idea,” he continued. “Not exactly Popeye and spinach, but interesting.”

When it comes to showcasing the Yukon’s character, this is one way to do that, Robb said.

“I think our territory should be paying more attention to our colourful individuals. I think tourism should do more along that line. I believe we’re missing the boat by not showing our interesting people. What we have right now is an explosion of the arts up here.”

Heather’s husband, Shane Horsnell, who isn’t affiliated with the Gold Pan Saloon but conceded to spending too much money at the establishment over the years, said that Robb is part of the “colourful five per cent.”

“To see Jim walking down the street at 4 p.m. to get some bacon and eggs when nobody’s selling that — that’s just Jim,” he said.

Colin Asselstine inspired “Colin’s Breakfast” at Woodcutter’s Blanket. It’s a dish without frills, inexpensive, one that sticks to your ribs.

Colin Asselstine enjoys a “Colin’s Breakfast” and a “Long Colin” at Woodcutter’s Blanket in Whitehorse on May 12.(Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

“I don’t like fancy things,” he said. “I’m pretty meat and potatoes kind of guy.”

When Ayla Smith, the chef, was putting together her menu, Asselstine said he told her, “You need a breakfast for like, you know, hungry guys.

“Ayla was able to come up with a breakfast for me that is just amazing,” he said.

The plate was introduced in mid-March, when Woodcutter’s rolled out its brunch menu. It comes with bacon and sausage from Off the Hook Meat Works, eggs, hash browns and toast from Alpine Bakery.

“He’s a real cowboy,” said co-owner James Maltby.

The brunch is going on hiatus because of a staffing issue, Maltby said, but it could be brought back in the fall. There could also be brunch pop-ups.

There’s an item that isn’t going anywhere, though, another nod to Asselstine.

“The Long Colin,” a play on a Long Island iced tea in that it subs extra vodka in for tequila (Asselstine has an aversion to the latter).

“The only place in the Yukon that makes one of those is the Woodcutter’s,” he said, noting that the drink eventually became permanent with his “strange requests.”

“My friends started drinking it now and there’s bars in Vancouver that even know what a Long Colin is.”

Contact Julien Gignac at

Food and WineWhitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon addressing media at a press conference on April 8. The territorial election is on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Currie Dixon and the Yukon Party platform

A closer look at the party leader and promises on the campaign trail

Yukon NDP leader Kate White, surrounded by socially distanced candidates, announces her platform in Whitehorse on March 29. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Kate White and the Yukon NDP Platform

A detailed look at the NDP platform and Kate White’s leadership campaign this election

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Sandy Silver announces the territorial election in Whitehorse. Silver is seeking a second term as premier and third term as Klondike MLA. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Getting to know Sandy Silver and the Yukon Liberal platform

Yukon Liberal Leader Sandy Silver is vying for a second term as… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media in Whitehorse on October 30, 2020. Hanley is now encouraging Yukon to continue following health regulations, noting it could still be some time before changes to restrictions are made. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
No active COVID cases in Yukon

Hanley highlights concerns over variants, encourages vaccinations

Most Read