A culinary mainstay for more than 30 years, Captain Stanley’s near Garner serves Calabash-style seafood in a no-frills environment for a sensible price. After all, where else can you go and get your fill of fried flounder, shrimp or trout for less than $10? And that includes two sides and bottomless hushpuppies.
Granted, the seafood may not be as fresh as, say, Skipper's Fish Fry in Apex, but it’s still well-prepared and full of flavor. For my money, any of the small-portioned platters provide plenty of food. Speaking of the provisions, you can count on your plate arriving tableside within five minutes of ordering.
The golden hushpuppies are served warm with Country Crock spread, and they are as good as you’ll find most anywhere else. Side items like Brunswick stew and coleslaw are also worthwhile. If you’re not in the mood for a baked potato, go with potato salad, although be prepared for it to be served cold rather than warm.
When it comes to décor, the stereotypical nautical theme abounds, replete with life preservers, plastic blue marlins and fishing nets. Friendly, efficient servers wear black tee shirts and black pants, though during a recent visit my glass of sweet tea remained empty too long at one point.
Lunchtime appears to be the best deal of the day, as a $5 special hooks plenty of patrons. For what it’s worth, however, the nighttime crowd seems more laid back and congenial. At least two total strangers smiled and waved as they passed by my table. That just doesn’t happen most places. Consider the whole experience smooth sailing without ever leaving the Triangle.