I was surprised to see the commercial had come to life right here in my very own local Cap’n D’s restaurant. I really wanted to sit there, but not if I had to pay double. And they probably wouldn’t have let me use my coupon, either.
I have always liked Captain D’s. I have fond memories of coming to this very location when I was a little girl with my “city” Grandparents. One time I even left my purse and we had to call the restaurant and drive back from Clendenin to retrieve it. How embarrassing for a middle schooler.
These days, I have noticed they have an average age similar to that of a Bob Evans. Maybe they run a good Senior discount, maybe they are the only demographic still courageous enough to eat quanities of fried food or maybe seniors just like those hushpuppies, but for whatever reason I am usually the youngest patron in the place. Except when I am accompanied by Misty.
On the past few visits, the lunch group discussed the ads claiming you could get food similar to Red Lobster but for a much cheaper price. The Captain was running a promo on a combo that included 3 coconut shrimp with a dipping sauce which Misty & I gladly took advantage of and we had to admit: Red Lobster could not beat it for the price. We left wholly satisfied and with a light greasy feeling on our lips. Yum.
On this visit I ordered the 2-piece Fish & Fries. It comes with 2 pups and you can sub any of the regularly-priced sides in place of the fries for no extra charge. Being the health-conscious individual that I am, I substituted broccoli for the fries. With my easily attainable coupon, this meal set me back only $2.69. At a price like that, I could afford to splurge! So I also added a diet soda for $1.79 and 3 coconut shrimp with orange sauce for an additional $1.79. Today’s meal package totalled $6.65, with no need to tip!
The fish was just as yummy as ever. I love their batter. Especially those little fried nibbles of batter. In my younger days I would ask for “extra crunchies”. Not anymore though – you know, health conscious is my middle name. The hushpuppies are also yummy, although kind of small. I personally like to slather some butter on each half of the pup before I pop it into my mouth. (Butter is in the dairy group, therefore butter=healthy. To be extra healthy, I also slather butter on the broccoli. You can ask for butter at the counter when you pick up your tray.)
A word about the sides: there are a lot of them to choose from. They even have a second tier of sides that require a small upcharge if you use them in your meal. You can also order any of the sides separately. They have corn cobs, salad, green beans, broccoli, mixed veggies, fries, gee…I don’t know what all! I do like their fries. They are frozen, but have a coating on them that make them super-crispy when fried up. I did not care for the green beans, though. Clearly another case of false advertising, the photo makes them look steamed until crisp-tender and bright green. Not so, my friends, not so. If you order them you will receive the country-style, cooked-all-day-to-mush green beans with a bacony flavor. Blheck.
The coconut shrimp can’t hold a candle to those at Tidewater or Outback, but are really pretty good for fast food and given the price. I enjoy the orange sauce (you may have to ask for it, I did, and it was no charge) but they really need to warm it up before handing it to the customer. I don’t want a McDLT experience with the hot shrimp dunking into a cold sauce. Even Outback serves their orange sauce cold. What’s with that?
Additional amenities include unlimited refills, a wide array of available condiments (even though I, myself, do not partake) and a whole roll of paper towels on each table in case things get a little messy.
Now try to compare this lunch to a similar offering from Red Lobster. A fried flounder lunch costs $7.50. Their menu is not clear about what comes with that, but the photos and the description of the quick catch lunches indicate one side. No hushpuppies, but you get unlimited cheesy garlic biscuits. (pause for a moment of silent reflection on the deliciousness of those biscuits….) I am not sure if you can add coconut shrimp to anything else, but if you order the coconut shrimp entree you can add four more pieces for $4. So, using an algebraic formula, I can determine that 3 coconut shrimp would equate to $3. Sodas are not priced in the on-line menu, but I feel confident in placing them around the $2 mark. That would bring this meal to a subtotal of $12.50 plus tax of $.75 and a 15% tip of $1.91 – added all together, the grand total is $14.63. Hmmmmm…..Whaddaya know? That’s a bit more than DOUBLE the Cap’n D’s price. Coincidence???
To be fair, the atmosphere, decor, table service and cheesy biscuits do add value to the dining experience not measured in this rudimentary comparison. I did notice when researching this post that Red Lobster has added a lot of good-looking lunch choices under $10 . I had written them off the last time I lunched there several years ago due to very small portions for too high a price. Perhaps they have rectified that. I am going to give them another try for lunch. (Plus, now I am thinking about those biscuits.)
But there’s no denying, Captain D’s is one of my favorite fast food places!