Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gastronomy: Heber City Claim Jumper

Spring cleanup continues at Herriman Snowbird Headquarters along with the quest for a decent meal.

As I mentioned, Google Earth 5.0 has quietly and without notice pushed out an update which corrected several pretty basic bugs in the program. I have now gone through all my maps and changed the transparency settings back to what they were before the goof-up. If you haven't updated your computer please do so at: Google Earth 5.0

There is no telling about the power of subliminal advertising because an advertisement for International House of Pancakes (IHOP) on our favorite program, somehow drew us to their establishment last week in spite of the fact that we always TIVO over the commercials. My memory of why I haven't gone there in many years flooded back to me as I tried to find something that looked good to me in their very difficult menu, and shook my head at their exorbitant prices for their very simple, small portioned fare.

All of us ordered something "non-breakfasty" and were disappointed, for different reasons. The experience merely reinforced my old adage "you don't expect to get a good steak at Denny's or Appleby's" and it's no different for pancakes. For breakfast IHOP can't hold a candle to Pancake House.

Mom and Dad's wedding anniversary was last week and they took a drive up and around the Provo Canyon / Heber City valley stopping in at the Claim Jumper for dinner. They came back raving about how surprisingly enjoyable the meal had been even though they had set out for a different diner.

Their experience was still lingering with them Friday, such that they wanted to go back up and show me what it was like. The drive up Provo Canyon was unexpectedly enjoyable - after it has been basically clobbered up somewhere along its route for the past 3 - 4 years! It was freshly paved and spring has sprung.

All the reservoirs are full to the brim (despite all the whining the TV weathermen do about water shortages), and all the fishermen were out. Still too cold for skiers though.

Home is the place where it feels right to walk around without shoes.”
Robert Frost

The first exit in Heber brought us to the Claim Jumper whose wooden-beamed facade touted all kinds of food from fish to steak and prime rib. The decor was a tasteful "early farmhouse" right down to the split-beam floors and cracked-log tables with rusty farm implements and brands as decorations.

For such a back-woods town, I was a bit stunned at the quarter-century price tag on the cheapest menu item but was quickly told to "stifle myself."

I ordered the Prime Rib and was just as stunned at receiving an entire quarter-cow, bone and all. It was as tender and "medium-rare" as one could have hoped for, and the wait-staff were attentive but not "notice-what-I'm-doing-for-you" in-your-face like seems to be the trend in the area these days.

Who normally remembers the salads at a restaurant? You will if you go. Crisp, cold, fresh and tasty, and the veggies (which you must order extra) were well cooked and not a tasteless-mush, afterthought like most places.

So, if you're feeling a bit plush (and hungry) we can recommend the Claim Jumper in Heber City with 3.5 (out of 4) stars; the IHOP? Not so much. I won't ever be going back unless Alzheimer's kicks in.


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