Is It Any Good?

A very ordinary steakhouse chain, one of which is in Burbank.

Claim Jumper on Urbanspoon

I won’t waste your time. This is going to be a burn-down.

Don’t worry. Claim Jumper has got plenty of money behind it. No one’s going to lose their jobs over anything I said. (Though if this were a “just” world…)

I think I’ve described before that feeling you get in a good restaurant, where you look over your order. You know how good it can be, how tasty, how flavorful. You place your order with the Waitstaff. There may even be a moment where the Waiter complements you with a look, a genuine sense of “Holy crap, you do know what you’re doing here.” And she’s not doing it for a Tip. Then, you spend the anxious minutes waiting for the food to arrive. You actually check other Trays coming in and out of the kitchen, all in an effort to catch just a glance of your order. Then you see it. The proper combination of items all on one server’s shoulder. It’s coming. It’s coming at last. The food sets at your table. The smell is about to knock you out, its so luscious. And then you take your first bite, and all you had planned for yourself, all you had desired comes true in one magical mouthful.

That won’t happen you to at Claim Jumper.

No, really…it won’t.

You go to Claim Jumper to fill up. That’s it.

Relax, this isn’t exactly a secret. I’m not revealing the Pentagon Papers here or anything. Filling you up is Claim Jumper’s friggin’ business plan. But if you go in expecting a great meal, you’re kidding yourself.

So what happened? Why the attitude? Why the “give up” level of snark?

Well, this happened:


WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Lemme tell you how this happened. I went to Claim Jumper’s for a couple of beers with the fellas. I arrived early, deciding to get an early jump on things.

Oh looks, here’s Bruschetta here on the menu. I’ve had that before. Lemme try that, just in case we’re not getting dinner, and to soak up whatever beers I have.

I arrives. It’s a decent looking plate, a small bowl of diced Tomatoes, diced Red Onion, and a sprinkling of what looks like cheese.


They also have you…put the Bruschetta on yourself, as in with a spoon. Of course, the chunks of Tomato don’t stay on like they’re supposed to. No matter, let me take a bite.


I taste…nothing. No flavor. No zing. None of the tomatoes. Nothing the onion. I taste nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero. Zilch.

They got the cheap tomatoes. The ones you buy at the grocery store when you want to decorate a green salad with something red, and don’t quite care…or compute how those tomatoes will taste when you bite into them. (They were only 29 cents a pound!).


IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Don’t fool yourself. This place is going to thrive and survive. The people who own the Claim Jumper’s Franchise got plenty of money to let this entry thrive or die. It may not matter what you or I or anyone think about how good the food is, when the deep pockets say you open, you stay open.

That being said, it might be a bit hard to see from the street, being as it’s nestled in a bundle of trees.

Hey, maybe you should take the hint.


PARKING: Shaky. There is a garage that services the office building that houses Claim Jumper, but it is pay. Me? I walked over.


Claim Jumper (Burbank)
3500 W. Olive Avenue
Burbank, CA 91505

Tel: (818) 260-0505

Monday – Tuesday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Wednesday – Friday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am – 9:00 pm