About a year or whatever ago, Wade-o and I were driving along when something caught my attention from the corner of my eye. I turned and saw the words, “Caplinger’s Fresh Catch Seafood Market”. Skeptical, Wade and I couldn’t figure out what this place was supposed to be. A seafood market tucked between a barber shop (that is no longer) and Donatos? Will anyone even buy seafood around here? Maybe they’re like Mitchell’s Fish Market?
It took us another few months to correct this oversight. I don’t even remember what I did that day, but I stopped by this place by myself to check it out. What I found out blew me away so much that I returned again later that same day with Wade-o in tow, confident that I could also convert him to be a patron of this place. And boy, did it work. Perhaps a little too much.
7460 N Shadeland Ave
Let me get something out of my system here real quick: Caplingers is practically right across from where I live. I have two mistakes that we’re about to correct here. First, how did I not decide to visit this place more often knowing that I could practically walk to here? Second, why did I take so long on writing about them? While I may not be able to answer that first one, I’m about to fix the second one.
Indianapolis, IN 46250
Caplinger’s employs a pay first system here, which works because everything is cooked to order. This also means that on peak times, there may be a long line and a long wait. If you’re in a hurry, save yourself the trouble and go somewhere else. We don’t want you huffing and puffing around us because you don’t have enough time to wait. If you do have the time to wait, welcome to the club. It’s worth it, trust me.
While you wait, they also have their current selection of fresh fish for you to take home and cook later, along with other goods in the freezer further back, bottled sauces and seasonings, seafood dips, and desserts. The selection for the fish changes based on what they currently have on hand, although requesting for a specific one that you don’t recognize is encouraged. If you buy fresh fish along with your cooked meal, they can package it for you in a bag with ice nuggets inside it so it’s still cold while you eat. And while we’re on the topic, the store never did smell like raw fish. Not ever.
One of my favorites here is their grilled salmon dinner. Served with two hush puppies and two other sides of your choice, their grilled salmon is portioned just enough to make me full. The salmon is always fresh-tasting with a hint of lemon, kissed just right with olive oil. Sweet, firm, yet flaky, this salmon makes me hungry even when writing this. Pardon me while I nurse my accidental hunger.
Wade-o loves to get their fried cod dinner. While not my favorite (salmon forever!), this is actually really good fried cod. Most of the breaded, fried fish we get somewhere else taste like they’ve been in the freezer for ten years and feels like you’re chewing on a wad of soggy crumpled paper. Here at Caplinger’s, their cod doesn’t taste and feel like that. The breading is also wonderful, coating each piece perfectly and gives the fish just the right amount of seasoning taste. It’s the same breading they use on all their fried fish; it’s delicious and never salty.
Another favorite of mine is their yellow perch dinner. Fried and breaded, each piece’s taste and freshness just shines through. That sweet aftertaste combined with the peppery, savory breading makes for an addicting bite. It’s always quite a dilemma for me because whenever I get yellow perch, I wish I got salmon. Yet when I get the salmon, I wish I had yellow perch. I can’t quite decide which one I like more.
Now, to the sides. Forgive me when I say that I haven’t tried all of them yet, but there’s a good reason for that. The ones I’m about to enumerate are good enough for us that deviating is no longer necessary:
- Collard Greens – Delicious
- Fried Okra – Delicious
- Green Beans – Delicious
- Cole Slaw – Delicious
Sorry, let me do that again.
- Collard Greens – Hearty with just the right amount of vinegar.
- Fried Okra – Same breading as fish with large pieces of fresh okra inside. May prove to be a little too fresh for those who prefer their okras toasty.
- Green Beans – Brightly colored, snappy.
- Cole Slaw – Creamy and milky with an interesting smoky aftertaste, not too vinegary.
The Caplingers Special uses Basa fish and is constant, although the menu doesn’t say this. I’ve had it once but not my preference. Their Basa is very soft and doesn’t take much to break up into pieces. The taste is fairly mild, almost too mild for the breading. You do get two big fillets in a serving, perfect for saving later.
They have since expanded their dining room but it’s still crowded during dinner time. Personally, I am happy that they are this successful. The owners are friendly and helpful. Their products are wonderful. I’ve purchased several fish from their display as well, and they are just as equally fresh as the ones they cook for you. Of all the years that I lived in this land-locked state, I’m happy that there’s finally a place right across from me selling high quality and seafood in general. You see, my mother grew up in the seaside and taught me the difference in taste between forever frozen fish and fresh fish. I haven’t tasted that distinct taste for a long time until Caplinger’s came. I hope they stay here for a while.
Be right back, going to get some more fish.