Archive for June 3rd, 2009

The Captains Inn, Forked River NJ

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

I haven’t been to The Captains Inn since sometime around 1987 or so. and I didn’t like it too much back then. I haven’t been back there until last night when the skies promised rain but gave us sunshine in our eyes while we sat on the outdoor deck that overlooks the back bay across the street from the main restaurant.

Most Tuesday evenings I ride my motorcycle along with my friends and we always wind up at a new spot to eat and have a few beers. Tonight was different as it was supposed to thunderstorm all evening, so we decided to take four wheels instead of two to be on the safe side.

The suggestion for us to meet at The Captains Inn brought along some anxiety for me as my last memory of this place wasn’t a good one. Not to say that the food was terrible, but it was just so so and the atmosphere was old and seashore smelly. But this night would be a first for me as I had never visited their outdoor bar and grill.

Upon arriving, the place looked pretty inviting with the music playing and the sun sitting low on the bay reflecting what was left of a great day. The place is set up nicely and very spacious with a lot of seating both open air and covered.

The five of us are greeted by a young girl who takes our drink order and leaves us menu’s. Not expecting too much I figure this place to be a burger and fries or sandwich spot, so I peruse the menu in search of something chicken. I order up a chicken panini which is dressed in field greens, bleu cheese, olives and tomatoes. I opt out on the bleu cheese as I am not a big fan of this molded variety.

Drinks and sandwiches arrive promptly and we continue to order a couple more rounds, being that we aren’t riding the bikes tonight. All in all the food was pretty good and the service, although not extremely friendly, was okay. Here’s the thing I just don’t understand about young waitress’s serving a group of guys. Where’s the smile, the flirting, and the over the top attention? Don’t these girls know that the tip is going to be based on them playing it up a bit?  I just can’t figure out why a girl wouldn’t go all out to be over friendly in hopes of getting a bigger tip. It really couldn’t hurt. Someone should start a service that trains a wait staff on how to serve customers based on the clientele. You have to treat a guest differently based on who they are. When I waited tables in college I would always lay it on extra thick when I had a table with all women. They loved the extra attention and it almost always netted me a bigger tip. One other thing that really ticks me off is a waitress/waiter that doesn’t have answers to my questions. This one waitress didn’t know that a pint was the same as 16 ounces so we didn’t expect too much from her.

So what’s the deal lately with keeping drink prices off the menu? How about the shock when the bill comes and the price of the drink is ridiculous? Too late now to send it back. We happened to order three Mojito’s that were served in a 7-8 ounce plastic cup with not so fresh mint. The drinks were weak and very sweet and not what a good Mojito should be, but until the check arrived it was forgiving. The Mojito’s, as it turns out are $8.50 a piece. Whoaaaa! I have had Mojito’s in 4 star restaurants that cost that much and they are perfect too. Bad move on the drink pricing Captain.

So what can you expect to pay for four sandwiches, an order of fried clam strips, a side of onion rings, 12 beers( only two in bottles, the rest are draft in 12 ounce cups), and three Mojito’s? Does $125.00 sound right to you? We probably wouldn’t have ordered the Mojito’s if we knew the cost of each up front. Being that the food cost us roughly $50.00 the bar bill was pretty high.

With the tip, we were set back $30.00 a piece. Man I could have had a really nice dinner and a glass of wine somewhere for that much. Live and learn, as they say. Too bad because the food and atmosphere were pretty good and I probably would have paid a return visit.

Regular guy rating   * * 1/2 ( don’t sucker punch me with the drink prices!)

The Captains Inn

Lacey Road

Forked River NJ