So, it aint fancy.

In fact it’s a hole in the wall in North Miami. It doesn’t stand out. That is, if you’re not judging by the swarms of cars parked out front. It’s at the furthermost corner of a strip mall, with a bright blue wall and a scroll mural bearing its name. As you enter the restaurant the smell of the sea is warmly striking. For a moment, it feels as though your right on the dock.

The atmosphere is actually very southern. Small and homey, the northern wall is lined with booths, and decorated with deserving accolades. There is a small bar, with a moderate selection of beer and a cutely rigged CD changer belting great tunes. The restaurant has a few flat screens displaying the days shows, sports, and news; but with all this, nothing distracts from the food.

The diner is self seating, with packaged plastic wear and a box of napkins waiting before you. As soon as your seated, someone (everyone pitches in, so service is not left solely up to wait staff) will serve a small container of imitation crab salad and a glass of water with a side of lemon. As we looked through the menu, we immediately browsed through the list of drinks (most of which were only $1.99) and appetizers (average $5.99). I’ve never been to a restaurant and had four glasses of water. The water was just so refreshingly crisp and tasteless. We decided to share a conch fritter appetizer. I ordered the combo platter (fish, conch, shrimp) with sautéed spinach; and my companion ordered the shrimp and grits. After our meal we closed with a decadent slice of key lime pie.

When the conch fritters came, they appeared dark and obviously deep friend. I hesitantly took a bite and found them to be divine. The chunks of fresh conch pieces, onion and freshly diced tomatoes were evident with every bite. I can taste them now as I fail to capture the true essence of the dish. We politely left the last fritter for the other, but ultimately decided it had to be shared. For my combo platter, I went for grilled shrimp, grilled fish and fried conch. The food came back a bit greasy but it was very well seasoned. The shrimp and grits however, are literally to die for! This dish should not be missed. The key lime pie was also delicious. The added whip cream is a little bland but it doesn’t distract from how tasty the pie is.

Have you been to Captain Jim’s? What’s your favorite dish?

Recommended Course

Appetizer Conch Fritters $7.99

Entrée Shrimp and Grits $12.99

Dessert Key Lime Pie $3.99

 All images © 2014 Donnatilda Tabana.