I was excited when Caplinger’s Fish Market reopened because I used to shop there frequently back when it was at 56th and Emerson. The new location, at 71st and Shadeland, is smaller, but very well done. They have a nice seating area for those who want to dine in. I had never eaten the prepared food at the old location, but was intrigued by the menu hanging over the fish counter at the new location.
Hubby and I stopped in on a Friday for lunch and wow, the place was jumping. Nearly every seat was full and people were still coming in. Hubby got the last table inside and I placed our order (you order at the register). We just wanted to try a couple of different things, and at the recommendation of the man behind the register (going to guess he was the owner) we shared the Caplinger’s special fish sandwich ($4.99) and the shrimp po boy ($7.99) with a side of mac and cheese ($1.79) (his mother’s recipe).
The man at the register told me the fish sandwich would be the best one I’ve ever eaten. Not sure if that is true, but it was definitely a tasty sandwich. They use basa fish in the sandwich—now normally I would have gone with one of the other fish choices (they have catfish, local perch, and many other options), but I went with the suggestion. And if they put their name on it, you figure it must be good (and it’s the cheapest of the fish sandwiches as well). We got ours with onions, lettuce and house tartar sauce on the side. The fish was fresh (and was smoking hot) and very crunchy. The tartar sauce was good, but had a hint of sweetness. I liked the remoulade from the po boy better (Next time I would just ask for that on my fish sandwich).
The shrimp po boy was good too—although overall I preferred the fish. The shrimp were small and lightly breaded—they tasted good but the breading kept falling off as we ate them in the sandwich. Hubby was also not impressed with the bread choice for a po boy—he’s very particular about po boys. The bread for all the sandwiches is locally made at Roll With It Bakery in Irvington. It’s a soft, but somewhat dense eggy tasting bread. Worked well with the fish, but wasn’t the right choice for a traditional po boy. They had the classic stuff—tomatoes, lettuce, and onion and like I said, I really enjoyed the remoulade that was drizzled across the sandwich, even if that’s not exactly traditional either. The pickles they serve are sweet pickles, so if you’re not into that taste (as I am not), I’d skip them (as I will in the future). We shared small side of mac and cheese and it was quite tasty—not the creamy, processed cheese type—a real homemade version that you could tell was made with real cheese. A little salt and pepper and it was great. They have a lot of good sounding sides that I would like to try and the seafood is really fresh (the beauty of also running a fish market). Honestly, I would prefer the fried shrimp dinner to the sandwich—the shrimp was seasoned well and if you ate it with a fork, it would probably stay together better. Plus, you get sides included. I am looking forward to trying those hush puppies. And a friend told me she really enjoyed the lobster roll.
The food is cooked to order and is not as fast as some places might be, and I am guessing it’s not a huge kitchen, but what they’re putting out is high quality. They have great online ratings—I’ve read very little negative. So who’s been there and what did you have?
Caplinger’s Fresh Catch Seafood Market
7460 North Shadeland, Suite 400