Isn’t it amazing how fast food has permeated our lives? Not only do we grab a meal on the go in our car, but now we have scads of restaurant-branded food in the grocery stores. Were White Castle Burgers first? Now we can get Taco Bell products, TGI Fridays, myriad pizzas, Marie Callender’s, and now, Claim Jumper. For those of you not familiar with Claim Jumper, it’s a casual dining concept that started in Southern California, 30+ years ago. and is now nearing 50 outlets in 8 states.
I’ve had two previous encounters with Claim Jumper; I had a cup of coffee at one years ago. And last year we purchased a piece of cake for take-out. Their desserts are massive. Two of us were never able to finish this single piece of cake over a couple of weeks.
I purchased the Chicken Fried Steak meal on impulse at my grocery early this morning, and it seemed like the perfect choice for a weekend bachelor breakfast. It came with a small steak, mashed potatoes, a corn cobette, and gravy packed. 16.25 ounces, 720 calories, half of those from fat. (Like I care!)
It was more than OK, less than fantastic. Certainly an improvement over the first TV dinners I remember having decades ago which all tasted (to me) like the foil trays.
The meat flavor was good in this offering, tho of course the breading wasn’t crisp like it would be in a restaurant. Just think, somewhere there is a food scientist with 20 years of journals recording his attempt to have crispy coatings in frozen meals. They must read something like ” Test 3,445 – damn. Test 3446 – damn. Test 3447 – damn.” Or something like that.
The potatoes were pretty ok, tho not as good as the stand-alone frozen tub products available today, like Country Crock Garlic Mashed. The gravy was fine. The corn was excellent (I’m a whore for corn on the cob).
Picture below is the meal as it came out of the box, followed by a photo of it plated. My additions were 1) butter, 2) pepper, 3) the plastic cob sticker thing.
I’d try other Claim Jumper meals based on this one. They have a pretty full line, descriptions here.