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Jul 20, 2007 02:24 PM

Claim Jumper... Pretty Good.

So, stuck in the middle of surburbia for lunch once again, the wife and I decided to try a new chain restaurant... well, new to our area anyway. We stopped by Claim Jumper for a late (3:30) lunch. The place is freaking huge, we estimated about 500 seats in the dining area and about 100 in the bar, it was about 10% full when we went. I asked the waiter if it ever gets filled up and he laughed and replied that weekend waits can run upwards of 3 hours!

The restaurant is brand new so it was very clean. Our server was great, effecient and relaxed, and knew the menu well. The menu, by the way, is huge. I had a tri-tip dip and the wife had a mini pizza and app salad combo. The salad was great, fresh mixed greens, walnuts, pears, some veggies and a nice light dressing. The pizza was what you would expect from a none pizza/Italian place, not too bad though. The tri-tip was super tender and well flavored, cooked just above med. rare. We also gave in to a red velvet cupcake. My wife is an expert on these. She said that the frosting was spot on, but the cupcake was slightly dry, still good.

Now, I've ripped some chains on this board before, namely PF Changs and Applebees. But this was a very refreshing chain restaurant experience. We never felt rushed, we were able to relax and we got some good food. Is this an above average chain in general? We did go at a slow time so maybe more attention was paid to our dishes. Anyone else care to chime in? We may go again, but I'm scared it can only go downhill from here.

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  1. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have to drive over a hour to our nearest one.
    We do it a lot. Look in your Supermarket freezer for their Pot Pies and other dinners. They are all excellent. Enjoy...

    1. I know a lot of people who like to put down Claim Jumper to show others their "superior culinary tastes" but I think Claim Jumper is great in its own catagory, gourmet? no but good value for the money. The atmosphere is great, and so are the servers and of course the quantity is enormous along with the quality being good. The wedge salads are also very good.

      1. Used to go the location in San Pedro. The always got our group out of there in a reasonable amount of time and no one complained about their food. I was pleasantly surprised. I generally got salads and chicken dishes.

        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. The Claim Jumper by Knotts in Buena Park is sort of a staple of visitors to the park, and I still remember the first time I ever went. If you were under 12, they weighed you and charged you by weight at around 10 cents a pound, or something. I always thought it was a funny gimmick, though maybe a bit embarrassing for bigger kids.

            I always thought the food was decent. I love the cheese potato cake side dish and their desserts are enormous, but nothing else stood out as amazing. We go there now to have a beer or two in a restaurant when someone's not feeling too adventurous and we want food without the bar ambiance.

            2 Replies
            1. re: MeAndroo

              That was the first Claim Jumper I tried. I remember thinking how fun it was to be there as a kid. (teen). I remember the cheesy garlic bread and back then they brought you as much as you wanted at no charge...gone are those days.

              1. re: MeAndroo

                Yeah, I liked the potato cakes and the slaw that was served with them was really good. On our second trip my wife had the tuna sandwich which was also surprisingly good, could only get through half. I had the rotisserie chicken and it was awful. Very dry and bland. We're still 4 for 5 though, and that's great for any restaurant, let alone a chain.