Friday, August 27, 2010

Bustin' Caps

That's Jacksonville, Fl.

One of the few places in the Sunshine State that hasn’t been taken over by retired Yankees – at least not yet.

You see, Jacksonville still has its share of “good ole boys,” or what I like to call “North Florida Rednecks.”

It’s also known for other things.

Jacksonville is home to Atlanta Braves legend Chipper Jones.

Jacksonville is home to Southern rock legend Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Jacksonville is home to the “World’s Largest Cocktail Party,” where the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida GAYtors meet once a year for bragging rights.

Jacksonville is also home to the PGA Tour’s TPC Sawgrass.

Let’s face it, Jacksonville is a great place. I mean, any place where the folks elect Corrine Brown to Congress can’t be that bad.

On this particular day, Suit420 happened to be in Jacksonville, FL, cruising down A1A in between Jacksonville and St. Augustine.

It’s a beautiful ride. There are large mansions on the left. And on the right there’s cool-looking marshes and woods. It’s actually a ride I’ve made many times in my life, as Suit420’s brother now lives in Jacksonville.

But on this day I noticed something I never had. As I was riding along, I noticed a sign that read “Caps on the Water.”

I’d never seen it before. Perhaps it was because right behind it is one of the coolest houses I’ve ever seen. It looks just like a castle.

Since I was hungry, I decided to give it a try.

What a good decision.

Once I turned right at the sign, I thought for sure that the place didn’t exist. I was riding through a neighborhood on a very small road. But it turned out to be the right road.

The parking lot set up was great. It was all sand, and it appeared to be able to hold a lot of cars. There was a special sectiont that read "Motorcycle Parking."

There was even a spot for "Golf Cart Parking." I found out later on that Caps gets very popular on the weekend and the enormous sand parking lot actuallly fills up.

Walking up I was thinking to myself that this is going to be a very laid back, Jimmy Buffet style place.

And it sure was.

The place was huge.

But best of all, it was located right on the water. There were multiple places to sit outside and overlook the water. There was boat dock where boaters and jet skiers would park and come up for drinks or food.

There was even a small beachy area where you could let your kids go down and play while you and your lady relax.

There was an inside bar in case it got to hot, and a nice sit down place inside to eat.

But Suit420 was interested in the outside. There was an area where you could sit on the deck and eat a romantic dinner, or you could do what I did and head to the Oyster Bar.

The Oyster Bar at Caps was one of the coolest bars I've ever been in. It was about as Jimmy Buffetish as you could get.

There was an area with wooden tables, trees and sand. I couldn't help but think how if I lived around that area, I'd ride my boat up every Saturday during the Fall, and sit outside at Caps and get wasted.

It was so relaxing I wanted to curl up in the shade and take a nap. But Suit420 had some drinking and eating to do first.

And best of all, I could smoke my newly imported Djarum Super Cloves that I now have to order directly from Indonesia because here in the land of the free it's now illegal to sell flavored tobacco.

Basically, there's no part of our lives that government isn't heavily involved with. Even at a place like Caps, that's so secluded and relaxing, you can't escape the government.

Cause we all know without government there would be 10 year old kids at the bar getting wasted with their dads...

Now to the food.

The menu looked amazing. The Oyster Bar has its own special menu. There were Spicy BBQ Oysters. Steamed Oysters. Garlic Oysters. You name it.

The only unfortunate part was at the Oyster Bar, certain beers aren't available on draft, so Suit420 couldn't enjoy a Blue Moon out in the sun. So I went with a Vodka Tonic instead. I will note that if you're a wine drinker, this is a place for you. Caps has a special wine menu full of great selections. Imagine sitting on the dock in late September, smoking a stogie while sipping on a glass of wine overlooking the water as the sun goes down. That's relaxing. That's Caps.

The lunch menu had virtually anything you wanted, from seafood to steak to chicken to just a plain ole hamburger.

Suit420 decided to go with the deep-fried, farm raised snapper and grouper with fries and tartar sauce. And I ended up packing my stomach with every last drop of it.
I'm not sure if I like the snapper or the grouper more, but they were both delicious. The outside was cooked to a perfect crisp, and the flavors flowed out of each bite.

My acquaintance had blackened salmon, served with bacon beans and potatoes with plantains. Suit420 couldn't help but try her bacon beans and salmon. The bacon beans were just that -- bacon beans. And as always, they were good. I guess it's kind of hard to go wrong with bacon beans. The salmon was decent, but I'm not going to judge it because I don't particularly like salmon. I'll eat it occassionally, but I usually go for something else. But that entire plate was also wiped clean.

The food, service, and alcohol selection was great. The waitress was always there to ask if we needed more. My drink was never left empty.

But the scenery was so amazing that even if they would have just had a McDonald's menu and a keg of Natural Light, the place would still be one of the best in the area.

On the way out I made a pitstop by the bathroom, which turned out to be a good decision. Normally bathrooms are dull and boring, and don't ever make it onto Suits in Strange Places. But Caps was different. I spent about ten minutes in the bathroom looking at the wall.

In closing, if you're ever in the Jacksonville area, I suggest you head down A1A towards St. Augustine, and spend a few hours or an entire day at Caps. Just look for the castle. You can't miss it.

Rating: Bought the Shirt

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