Finally able to get to the Claim Jumper in Monrovia, California for dinner and cake to celebrate this reviewer’s birthday, the wait was well worth it as the service was wonderful, the atmosphere relaxing and the food was delightful.
Artisan cheese bread
While reading through the menu to decide which treasures to dine on, Huan delivered the Claim Jumper’s artisan cheese bread. It was very good tasting white bread, but the only thing exceptional about it was the unique shape. It looks like a large nugget of gold, which is reinforced because it was topped with melted cheese.
Produce bar upgrade (also known as a salad bar)
In place of the side salad, dinners can upgrade to Claim Jumper’s Produce Bar with their meals. Here is a sampling of what one can expect.
- Broccoli salad with bacon bites, raisins, red onions and broccoli tossed with dressing. It was fresh, crunchy and deliciously sweet.
- Black bean salad
- Couscous salad
- Lots of fresh fruit including cantaloupe, green melon, red grapes, and chunks of fresh pineapple.
- Cucumber and tomato salad
- Marinated mushrooms with a strong garlic flavor
- A variety of leaf vegetables like iceberg lettuce, spring mix and spinach
- Various fresh vegetables like slivers of fresh carrots
Where the salad dressings were, patrons can find salad toppings that include freshly cooked bacon bits, raisins, and seeds.
In lieu of that abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, Claim Jumper also offers patrons the choice of a small green salad with carrot slivers, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese and croutons that seemed to be made with cornbread.
BBQ Baby Back Pork Ribs, Full Rack, $25.99
The pork ribs were excellent. They were fall-off-the-bone tender and flavorful. There was just the right amount sauce covering them to provide a lightly sweet flavor without the ribs being drenched. The baked sweet potato made a wonderful side.
Grilled Ribeye Steak, 12 ounces, $26.99
Steaks are a challenge for many cooks to get to the right temperature. The question is what does the restaurant do about it? When it arrived at the table cooked medium instead of medium rare, the server immediately took it back and ordered a new one be prepared. Shortly after Huan took it back, the dining room manager came by to check with this reviewer and assured that a properly prepared steak would be out shortly.
Sell the sizzle fallacy
There’s an expression in sales and marketing circles that you want to sell the sizzle, not the steak. Many steak houses ascribe to this idea, which means that they serve steaks on a hot plate so it is still cooking when it gets to the customer’s table. The problem with doing this is that they prepare steak to the proper doneness in the kitchen, failing to adjust for the fact that it will continue to cook on its way to the table because of how hot plate is. This costs them either a lot of replacement steaks or lots of disgruntled customers.
When the kitchen manager returned the ribeye steak the second time, it was exactly medium rare, maybe even rare in places, which was fine. The flavor of this ribeye was excellent.
Roasted vegetables were the side for the steak. They had excellent their flavor, good enough to take the leftovers home to enjoy again.
Motherlode Chocolate Cake, $10.99 + $2.00 Ala Mode
Those whose birthday celebrations consisted of a homemade devil’s food cake with whipped cream on top can appreciate looking forward all week to going to Claim Jumpers Restaurant for their decadent chocolate cake. The Motherlode Chocolate Cake is an incredible, six-layered chocolate cake. Unless a large group shars in this rich dessert, plan to eat a layer each and take the rest of it home.
Claim Jumper’s Motherlode Chocolate Cake consists of a marvelously moist devil’s food chocolate cake with a sweet chocolate flavor. It had the addition of chocolate chips in the cake itself. Their bakers then spread rich chocolate fudge frosting between the six layers as well as sprinkling a wealth of walnuts over the icing on the top and sides.
It comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. But if a customer doesn’t like ice cream melting on her cake, ask your server to bring it separately. Huan delivered a scoop of vanilla on the side.
Red Velvet Cupcake, $3.99 – comp for birthday
Because this was the reviewer’s birthday, Huan also brought a red velvet cupcake with a candle to the table. He lit the candle before leaving the patrons to enjoy it. The Claim Jumper’s red velvet cupcake was moist and delicious.
Three elements of an exceptional dining experience
Naturally, the quality of the food is the first criteria to have an exceptional dining experience. If that’s missing, the memory will be tainted. But for a sit down, table service type of meal, the quality of the service ranks a close second. Fortunately, the hostesses, servers and managers were top notch.
That leaves the third leg of the stool, atmosphere. How comfortable one is determines a large portion of how pleasantly one recalls the dining experience. In this case, the seating was comfortable and uncrowded. The Claim Jumper Restaurant & Saloon in Monrovia has a large open and airy dining room giving the feeling of spaciousness.
The decorating runs to earth tones, which are appropriate to a mining theme yet which are also restful colors. The décor includes mining artifacts as well as impressionistic artwork related to miners. Fortunately, they didn’t hold so closely to the mining theme that patrons had to endure the heat. This restaurant had modern amenities including air conditioning. It all combined to make a relaxing, enjoyable, memorable meal.
While not cheap, the servings were generous and the overall experience was delightful so the Monrovia Claim Jumper gave great value for the money.
Landry’s Select Club
Something that lent even greater value to the experience is Landry’s Select Club. They sent this reviewer a $25 credit toward a birthday meal. In this case, there was an additional credit that was added to the account so this particular meal’s price came out $50 less than the retail. When someone joins the Landry’s Select Club, he or she pays $25 for the membership but gets an immediate credit back for that $25 against any purchases, like dinner.
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Claim Jumper Restaurant & Saloon
820 W. Huntington Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016
- (626) 359-0463
- Fax: (626) 359-0143
Claim Jumper Restaurant & Saloon website,
- 11AM-9:30PM Sun-Thurs
- 11AM-10:30PM Fri-Sat.
- 10AM-2PM Sunday Brunch
- 4-5:30PM Mon-Fri Early Dining
Claim Jumper Menus
Appetizers, Soups & Salads, Burgers & Sandwiches, Specialties & Steaks, Favorites, Seafood, Pizza & Pasta, Lunch Specials, Desserts & Beverages, Happy Hour, Little Jumpers, Vegetarian & Gluten Free, Sunday Brunch
Print menus for dinner and lunch,
- American dishes like steak, ribs, chicken, seafood, salads
- Casual dining
- Table service with an optional self-service produce bar