Even at 5 p.m., the parking lot was full. Thankfully, the wait wasn’t long this early in the evening, but as the only seafood restaurant in Byron, Captain Jack’s is a popular joint.
The constructs of supply and demand are strong here, with prices pretty high and serving sizes and quality varying greatly. Our server kept us well hydrated while we waited a little long for our appetizer. When the crab and cheese dip arrived, it was full of crab chunks, mixed with a balanced amount of cheese and bread crumbs. The greasy tortilla chips that came with it were an insult to the tasty dip, so we ate it with a fork instead. This dish earned three stars.
The steam pot for $23.95 seemed a little high, but with eight legs and two claws, plus corn, sausage, potatoes and about 20 steamed shrimp, it turned out to be a pretty good deal. In fact, unless they were both very hungry, two could easily share the steam pot. Based on quality as well as quantity for the money, this dish earned four stars.
The fried shrimp basket for $9.95 was disappointing. There were 10 shrimp of middling quality and taste, a plastic container of pretty good coleslaw, and a small bowl of potatoes. We would rather have paid a little more and gotten a more satisfying amount of food. For both size and quality, this dish earned a two.
Finally, the cedar plank salmon for $19.95 was very well cooked, pleasantly smoked, moist and not overly seasoned. It also came with the plastic container of slaw -- actually two -- and a fine baked potato. This dish earned a three and a half stars.
The desserts are a little high at $4.95 for a four-inch-wide slice of pie, but the key lime was delicious and I’m willing to pay big money for good key lime pie. They also have pecan pie, an OK peach cobbler, and soft-serve ice cream.
Our bill for three totaled more then $70 dollars, so there were plenty of other dishes we didn’t try, but our overall impression of Captain Jack’s is that you should order carefully. Your server will know what is fresh and best prepared and there are lots of wildly opposing reviews online.
Averaging the scores of this meal’s items, Captain Jack’s earns a score of 2.9 stars. The good service we had would bring that up a little but the long wait would bring it back to a three.
Any way you slice it, Byron seems pretty happy with this place and you should give it a try.
Captain Jack’s Crab Shack
Address: 107 Chapman Road, Byron
Hours: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. daily
Payment: Cash, credit
Kids Menu: Yes
Noise Level: Medium
Health Rating: 96
Price range: $9.95-$26.95
Rating: 3 stars