The Copper Penny (Kingston) – A Kingston staple but I am not sure why. Maybe I didn’t get the right dishes.

From the moment I arrived in Kingston, everyone I knew was raving about The Copper Penny. The locals loved it, the nurses loved it, J’s coworkers loved it. J’s coworker who… is also named J… recommended the Penny on the Farm. We looked at it on the menu and it was massive. “The largest platter of food you’ll ever see! An 8oz New York steak cooked to your specification, served on garlic toast alongside a grilled chicken breast, 1/4 lb of ribs, chicken finger [sic], mushrooms, steamed vegetables, and your choice of potato.” It really sounded like too much food and a little plain: essentially steak, ribs, chicken, and chicken fingers.

We opted to try something else. We should’ve gone with co-worker J’s recommendation.

This is the Ribs and Wings (Barbequed and fall-off-the-bone ribs basted with your choice of sauce. Served alongside four of our jumbo chicken wings) for $14.49. What interested me was the “fall-off-the-bone” ribs. I assume that all ribs are meant to fall off the bone so when they deliberately describe it like this, I was imagining something really REALLY tender. And chicken wings are rarely described as jumbo. They certainly had to be gigantic! Sadly, the ribs were not particularly fall-off-the-bone. Even Swiss Chalet and Montana’s have ribs that are more tender. The sauce was nothing special either. The wings were hardly jumbo as you can see. The fries were phenomenal though. I’ve heard that they use soup mix to season the fries. Really really delicious, salty, slightly sweet and perfectly fried. I would get a plate of just fries next time!

This is the Chicken Dijon Penne (grilled strips of chicken breast, sauteed mushrooms and onions with sun-dried tomatoes tossed in a Dijon cream sauce with Penne. Baked in the oven with cheddar cheese and finished with a sprinkle of parmy) for $13.99. It sounds great, especially with the baked cheese. But the chicken was very very foamy and textureless. It was also pretty salty. The pasta was overcooked and mushy. And I hardly tasted Dijon. Not delicious.

Unfortunately, The Copper Penny was built up too much and it was a bit disappointing (except for the fantastic fries, please get a plate of these! They were so good!). Maybe I ordered the wrong food? Next time, I’ll get the Penny on the Farm.

The Copper Penny, 240 Princess Street, Kingston, ON K7L1B2, (613) 549-4257,

Copper Penny on Urbanspoon

~ by Russ on June 27, 2010.

8 Responses to “The Copper Penny (Kingston) – A Kingston staple but I am not sure why. Maybe I didn’t get the right dishes.”

  1. i also am not sure what the big deal is with copper penny…
    the price isn’t even that good, especially for what you are getting.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. I drove by it tonight. Lots of people. I just don’t get it.

  3. Fully agree with you here. The only redeeming factor this place has is the chicken seasoning they use on their fries. This is the same seasoning used at Stooley’s, which has a place in my heart thanks to the many morning after meals the gang used to have there during my undergrad. My wife and I tried out the Cooper Penny a year or so ago with the intent of doing a review. I honestly couldn’t find a constructive, or otherwise kind way of saying their food is not good. But as you’ve pointed out, the line often goes out the door. It succeeds as an institution.

    • I need to check out Stooley’s. I find the name somewhat unpalatable but that hasn’t stopped me at other places! Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. I suppose I should clarify a bit here. I love Stooley’s for what it was, not so much for what it is 5 years later. Their fries are epic, but that’s about where it ends. The food is rather sloppy, and depending on what you get, a tad greasy. Still though, from time to time I trick myself to going there, thinking that it will transport me back in time…and for a brief while it does. Just don’t there expecting your mind to be blown.

    • Consider my expectations lowered 🙂 That is how I managed to somewhat enjoy Twilight: Eclipse.

  5. Agree. I’ve been to the Copper Penny with friends a few times over the years, and the food has been uniformly bland, lacking in texture and too salty (Particularly a french onion soup I had once, which appeared to be nothing more than salt and brown).

    As you said though, fries are great.

  6. If you ever find yourself back at Copper, their Fish and Chips are their most famous dish I think!!

    Will second the vote for Stooley’s fries…I go all the time during the year–a single order is easily shareable and always pretty fresh!

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