I try not to judge a book by its cover, or a restaurant by its exterior.
If I did, there’d be plenty of fantastic hole-in-the-wall restaurants that I would miss and truck stop haunts which I would pass by.
The Kopper King isn’t a looker. On the side of the Alaska Highway, just north of downtown and across from trails leading into Takhini, it’s a bit run down.
And the inside is about expected. Is it rude to call it a dive bar? Or is there a point of pride attached to such a term? Anyways, it is what it is.
And friends urged me to go there.
In trying to find more information about this local treasure, I discovered the following tale from a night of storytelling at the MacBride Museum.
Note: The night I visited, there were no lobsters, no fights, no music. It was early in the evening on a Sunday, so the TVs played an NHL playoff game, watched by some of the dozen or so patrons that had stopped in.
From what I’ve heard, the place still packs in the crowds, especially on Tuesday wings night. But I’m not one for loud places with lots of people, so the Sunday visit suited me just fine.
I met with a friend and her husband. I arrived first, picking a table where I’d be able to glance at the hockey but also get some light from outside. Turns out, I had picked their favourite table.
As the so-called regulars, I was happy to have them order. We *had* to get the nachos, which were recommended by these friends and others. Plus there were dozens of flavours of wings to try, so we got two pounds, each a different flavour.
I’ll tackle the wings first, leaving the best for last.
We got an order of lemon pepper and curry pineapple. The idea was to have a saucy one and a dry one. Or a sweet one and a salty one. I was totally on board.
My husband isn’t a huge fan of wings, so we don’t have them very often, but historically, I’ve been a fan of dry wings. Salt and pepper wings are often underrated, but so reliable.
Unfortunately, the lemon pepper wings weren’t exactly dry. They had definitely been thrown in lemon juice, but it absorbed into the skin and softened them. They lacked the addictive crispy exterior.
The curry pineapple coating actually acted as a barrier to hold in some of the crispy fried wings exterior. And it was delicious. Definitely the better of the two.
But even better, the nachos.
This is a case where the pictures don’t do it justice.
On the left, how they arrived. On the right about 2/3 of the way through them.
The thorough layering of cheese and toppings went through the entire dish. It was magical. It was a large serving for the very reasonable price of $12.95.
(I’m trying not to think about how they make it for that cheap!)
One piece of advice: I think the beer lines might need to be flushed.
Likelihood of return visit: Can’t. Stop. Thinking. Of. Nachos.
Recommended dish: Nachos, duh.
Tripadvisor: #36 of 67 Restaurants in Whitehorse
Kopper King: 918.3 Alaska Hwy, Whitehorse, Yukon