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For breakfast and lunch, Kopper Kettle is the gold standard in Yucaipa |

For breakfast and lunch, Kopper Kettle is the gold standard in Yucaipa

When it comes to breakfast fare, it’s hard to top Kopper Kettle Kafe, which has been a standout in Yucaipa for many a year.

Stacy Dean runs the show and her baking skills are legendary. Come in for breakfast and you won’t need to eat again until dinner — that’s how gargantuan the portions are.

The skillets are incredible. All contain potatoes and onions mixed with scrambled eggs, jack and cheddar cheese and are served with either biscuits or toast.

You then choose from seven available options to add to your scramble. My preference is the turkey, mushrooms and ortega chile version.

A half-skillet plate is $8. For a dollar more, you get a full skillet plate, which easily feeds two. Thus, the full skillet is a no-brainer.

The skillets are served with mildly spicy red salsa, which also should, if it doesn’t already, come with the tri-tip sandwich (just as it does on the central coast around Nipomo and Santa Maria, where the tri-tip is always cooked over red oak.)

The pumpkin short stack pancakes may be the best hot cakes I’ve ever encountered — drizzled with a butter toffee sauce, whipped cream and nuts. You’ll cry out its name in the middle of the night, hungry or not.

Order some corned beef hash crispy as a side dish, which serves as a perfect savory accompaniment to the sweetness of the pancakes.

An alternative for a sweet beginning would be the raisin French toast — three thick slices served with a delectable warm butter rum sauce. Some crispy bacon slices on the side match up perfectly with this selection.

Also worth sampling is the veggie quiche served with fresh, if not always in season, fruit. The quiche had a buttery crust and a cheesy egg interior dotted with an assortment of diced vegetables. A slice of banana nut bread accompanied the quiche.

The pot roast melt topped with grilled mushrooms and onions on sourdough bread has become such a popular special that is served at least once a week these days. Don’t forget to spread the sour cream horseradish sauce liberally on the insides of the bread.

We opted for a creamy potato salad side with green onions and bell peppers and also a side of sweet smoky baked beans laced with pieces of green peppers and bacon.

In case you’re not quite full from your entree, an order of biscuits and gravy (made fresh every morning with pepper and minced ham) should do the trick.

If you find yourself at Kopper Kettle on weekends, chicken and dumplings is exceedingly popular.

Before you finish, it’s imperative that you try a slice of one of Dean’s spectacular pies or other desserts. I went for the buttermilk pie, which I took home and devoured — downing two glasses of low-fat milk in the process! They sell more than 100 of these pies during the holiday season.

The holidays are fast approaching, and Kopper Kettle Kafe sells about 500 assorted pies between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Dean also holds classes in the fall and winter on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. They last two hours and cost $45 per person with a maximum class size of eight. Whatever the topic (pie-baking, soup with homemade pretzels, pastas, tamales), you get to sample and take home whatever you’re making.

Cookies and Santa classes for kids, which occur in December, are $15.

David Cohen is a freelance dining critic and food co-editor for Inland Empire Magazine. Send him email at and follow him on Twitter @dcfoodfiles.

Kopper Kettle Kafe
Rating: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
Address: 34848 Yucaipa Blvd., Yucaipa.
Information: 909-797-2932.
Hours: 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Cuisine: American breakfast and lunch plus bakery.
Atmosphere: Casual cafe.
Prices: $4.75-$9.50 for breakfast entrees, $6.75-$11.95 burgers and sandwiches, $9-$14.50 full dinner plates.
Details: Catering available. Kids menu. Five senior dinner plate selections for $9. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Recommended dishes: Pumpkin short stack, Pot roast melt, and any skillet dish.
Cards: All majors.

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