9:15 p.m. Friday: Biggest Portions 

Claim Jumper

In the face of impending oil shortages and obesity epidemics, the American mantra of bigger equals better persists. We drive big, we build big and, until the Mini Cooper takes over, big-screen TVs become passé, and fast-food franchises encourage patrons to downsize instead of supersize, we'll continue to eat big. In the meantime, why not enjoy the trend and experience Americana at its best? When it comes to large portions, there's simply no competition. A chain restaurant designed to resemble a posh country lodge, Claim Jumper's large beams and mounted animal trophies denote the Teddy Roosevelt-style America where only a 24-ounce steak will satisfy. For the quantity, prices are certainly good, and no one -- no one -- could possibly go home hungry. Claim Jumper is most famous for its desserts -- the glass showcase reveals steroidal brownies and startlingly plump lemon bars. But to truly appreciate this dining phenomenon, a slice of the giant six-layer chocolate cake, the intimidating Chocolate Motherlode, is a must. It's a good place to visit with friends, since sharing is key to satisfy a late-night dessert craving.


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