We all know that calories are a quantification of just how tasty food is, so it stands to reason that the most awesome chain restaurant ever, Claim Jumper, would have some of the highest-cal dishes fathomable. Snippets paints the picture with numbers, revealing that the beef back ribs pack 4,301 calories, the black tie chicken pasta weighs in at 3,773 calories and the diet-food porterhouse steak is a svelte 2,363 calories.
And those figures don’t even include side dishes, including Claim Jumper’s erotic buttermilk biscuits, which are roughly the size of houseboats, and just as tasty. As houseboats are to Jaws, that is.
Bearing these frightening but understandable numbers in mind, I still adore the butter-drenched restaurant for what it is: A tribute to unreasonable excess. You walk in to the Gold Rush-inspired dining room, grab an entire apple out of a barrel as a pre-appetizer appetizer, gorge yourself on a ludicrously large platter that would give Paul Bunyan a bellyache (there’s a burger called the Widowmaker), then top it all off with a rootbeer barrel candy or three as you say your goodbyes. The chain makes Cheesecake Factory look like Weight Watchers by comparison. The KFC Double Down would hardly qualify as an appetizer at this joint.
If you’ve never heard of Claim Jumper, you probably don’t live out west. Its 45 locations are dispersed between Arizona, Colorado, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Plus Illinois and Wisconsin. Because those midwestern states will be damned if they’d let a fattening treasure like this elude their doughy clutches.