2250 E 17th Street.
Santa Ana, CA
Various locations around Orange County and the U.S.
Claim Jumper used to be known for their large portions and reasonable prices. It seems that every time I go to a Claim Jumper though, they have raised their prices. The portions, with a few exceptions, seem to be getting smaller too. In looking at their recent advertising, it appears to me that they are trying to move away from the "casual dining" atmosphere and move into more of an "upscale" look. I think this is a mistake. I really loved the "old" Claim Jumper. They should bring back the Claim Jumper where when I put my name in, they'd hand me a nifty little card with a novelty name on it, that they would shout out when my table was ready. "Ore Cart party of four!!! Dead Man's Saloon party of six!!!" They should bring back the Claim Jumper where I could order a chicken fried steak the size of my head for $9.95. They should bring back the Claim Jumper that I didn't used to mind waiting an hour for...
On my most recent visit to Claim Jumper, I went with a party of four on a Sunday night. When we walked up to the front door of the restaurant, we looked through the windows and saw that there was plenty of open seating. When I walked up to the hostess though, she told me there would be a 20 minute wait. There were open tables in the bar area, so we just decided to take one of those.
We looked over the menu and all commented on how much the prices were going up at this place. Some examples of items that I think are overpriced for this restaurant are the buffalo wing appetizer for $11.95, the rack of baby back ribs for $25.95, the ribeye steak for $27.95 and the chicken fried steak for $15.95.
It's not that we're cheap, but we all felt that most of the prices here were too high for what they were. We therefore all decided to order modestly. I finally settled on a bowl of chili in a sourdough bowl ($8.75). My wife got an appetizer sized salad with asian pears ($8.75). "R" ordered sliders ($9.95) and "J" ordered the appetizer chicken strips ($10.95).
Then we sat and waited for our meals to arrive. We waited......and waited.....and waited..... I think it took about 45 minutes before we finally received 3 out of our 4 meals. The last meal to arrive, about 5 minutes later, was the appetizer salad. I thought this was odd since it was a salad and didn't require any kind of cooking.
The chili was pretty good. It was made with large chunks of beef and black beans. It wasn't very spicy, so I added some Tabasco sauce. This made it taste a little better.
My wife seemed to like her salad ok, but I thought it was pretty small. I hope she got enough to eat. The chicken strips and sliders were what they were and nothing more.
One of the things that has remained large at Claim Jumper are their classic desserts. Their two most famous desserts are their chocolate motherlode cake($9.95 a slice), a huge six layer chocolate cake and their "I Declair"($8.95), a gigantic chocolate eclair filled with vanilla custard and vanilla ice cream. They have also recently introduced a line of "small bites" desserts that are friendlier to your health and your pocketbook. J decided to order the sticky toffee pudding ($3.95) off the small bites menu. The rest of us decided to share an "I Declair." The eclair was pretty good, but didn't taste extremely fresh. The shell was more chewy than it was crispy like a fresh eclair shell should be.