Indecisive about where to eat out for lunch or dinner in Tucson? Strike gold at Claim Jumper on Broadway and Alvernon. The California Gold Rush themed restaurant is BIG on style and on portions.
The exterior of the building is reminiscent of a log cabin, while the interior has Disney-esque decor touches - historical maps, artifacts, and paintings.
When visiting a new restaurant, I always recommend asking the waiter or restaurant manager for a menu recommendation. In this case, our friendly waitress directed me to the Absolut Tortellini ($16.99), a seasonal dish featuring blackened chicken in a creamy tomato vodka sauce. Covered with real bacon and parmesan, the dish was probably high on calories...but I was not at all disappointed by the flavorful and fresh dish.
My husband had The Widow Maker ($12.99), a massive burger stuffed with smoked bacon, hand-battered onion rings, avocado, double- thick cheddar, mayo, and red relish. Always a favorite.
Our 6-year-old couldn't have been more pleased with her Baby Back Pork Ribs ($8.99) - and her messy face afterward proved it! There's no denying that most parents won't want to dole out ten dollars for a young child...but it may be a good pick for a special occasion. Other options include Grilled Cheese ($5.99), Pasta Your Way ($5.99), Two Mini Burgers ($5.99), Build Your Own Pizza ($7.99), and Fish & Chips ($10.99) - to name a few. All kids meals come with a drink, french fries, and one additional side.
The restaurant also provides colorific children's menus with Crayola crayons! It's easy to see why Claim Jumper was named one of the "10 Best Family Restaurants in the USA" by Parents Magazine.
As for babies, Claim Jumper features a plethora of baby-friendly amenities. Little ones 3 and under can sit in a highchair or booster and parents can request a complimentary baby plate (which features a turkey slice, cheese stick, applesauce, and mandarin oranges). Stick-on placemats are also provided free-of-charge.
While this dimly lit and popular restaurant may not appeal to everyone (especially those who are hard of hearing or vision), families will certainly appreciate the casual atmosphere. If little ones are a little bit loud, it's unlikely that other guests will even notice. After your meal, you can walk or drive 0.9 miles to Reid Park to let the kids run wild in the grass or on the playgrounds.
Note that Claim Jumper is also a terrific pick for Happy Hour or for meeting up with a friend for dessert. The dessert portions are massive and decadent. A wonderful treat to celebrate a new job, 1/2 marathon finish, or other milestone.
P.S. Be sure to show your driver's license if it's your birthday. A complimentary cupcake will be sent out from the kitchen just for you!